How one simple act can create something amazing
In 1865, Columbus, Mississippi was a small railroad town of 6,000 people due south of Shiloh, Tennessee. Due to their proximity to the rail line and the war, they became known as a hospital town.
In the two day battle at Shiloh, there were more than 3,500 soldiers killed and 16,000 wounded on both sides.
Nearly every home and business in Columbus was used as a hospital.
4 Generals, 2,500 Confederate soldiers and 32 Union soldiers were buried in Friendship Cemetery during the war.
And when the war was over, something amazing happened.
On April 25th, 1866, four ladies who lived in Columbus gathered to decorate the graves of the Confederate soldiers with flowers. While there, they felt compelled to honor the Union soldiers and share in their family’s grief. So the decorated their graves with flowers too.
Their story of love and forgiveness spread throughout Mississippi. A reporter for the New York Tribune took that story north and published it.
Francis Miles Finch, a Yale graduate and Judge, read the story and was moved to write the poem, The Blue and Gray.
The Blue and Gray was published in The Atlantic magazine in 1867 and the rest is history.
It’s amazing how one simple act of love can culminate in the holiday known as Memorial Day.
So now you know it’s as much about reconciliation as remembrance.
The last two lines of the poem read: Love and tears for the Blue, Tears and love for the Gray.
Take some time this weekend to love and remember, remember and love.
See you on Tuesday!