Update: Thanks to the commenter below who clarified that individuals are not “made” veterans. They are veterans owing to their service. In this case, service in the United States army.
It is absurd to think that Memorial Day is a day to honor Confederates who fell in battle along side the white and black Americans who gave their lives to defend and ultimately save this country between 1861 and 1865. Many today base this belief on a supposed step taken by Congress in 1958 that gave Confederate veterans equal status under law to that of U.S. veterans. They did not.
It’s a myth that has surfaced at different times over the years, but it has received the most attention since the Charleston shootings in 2015. Here is a popular social media meme that can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
As this brief article from Facing South, published in 2015 makes clear, this is nothing more than a misreading of the legislation passed in 1958.
I am certainly not an advocate of removing Confederate headstones. They should be left untouched and those people who feel a need to commemorate and/or celebrate their service and sacrifice for a nation that was committed to the protection and extension of slavery should be allowed to do so.
This is a day to remember and honor the men and women who gave their lives for this United States of America and whose sacrifice makes it possible for each of us to work every day toward making this nation’s founding principles a reality.