"War kills people and destroys human creation; but as though
mocking war's devastation, flowers inevitably bloom through its
ruins." -- David W. Blight,
"Over time several American towns,
north and south, claimed to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. But
all of them commemorate cemetery decoration events from 1866.
Pride of place as the first large scale ritual of Decoration Day,
therefore, goes to African Americans in Charleston. By their
labor, their words, their songs, and their solemn parade of
flowers and marching feet on their former owners' race course,
they created for themselves, and for us, the Independence Day of
the Second American Revolution." -- ibid.