We find the roots of our American Memorial day starting after the Civil war. Incidentally, the American Civil war still ranks as the war with the most American casualties of any conflict. Originally called remembrance day, it was a day to decorate the graves of the dead from that war. Later, it has been used to remember all that were once with us.
|Tragic Prelude by John Steuart Curry: Original in the Capital in Topeka, Kansas|
I understand that in Asian culture (Specifically as I know Japanese and Korean culture) the aged are respected and the dead are venerated. Some cultures will even pray to dead ancestors. As odd as this seems, there is a similar Catholic tradition; that being the communion of the Saints. When we recognize the contribution and influence that our ancestors had on shaping our present world, it doesn't seem that the East and West are too far apart in some philosophical perspectives! the American Civil War shaped this country in many ways. Some were good (Abolition and equal rights for all) and others bad (Jim Crow laws and ambivalence to our fellow brothers and sisters politically and ideologically).
In the final result, as far as today is concerned, we shouldn't judge the people of the past too harshly, and definitely not to 21st century standards.
We cannot change the past, we can only learn from it and be the best we can be today.
Honor our heroes of war and our loved ones who have died. Remember the legacy that they have left us as one people: Americans!