Memorial Day or Decoration Day as it used to be called, originated after the American Civil War to honor Union soldiers who had died. Now it is a national holiday to honor all U.S. military men and women.
In the South, some nine states officially celebrate Confederate Memorial Day at different times. In Kentucky, the day is observed on June 3, which is the birthday of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America and a native Kentuckian.
On my bookshelf, sits a very fragile, stained volume. It has a deep maroon hard cover imprinted with gold letters. The title of this book is Confederate Veteran Association of Kentucky. The confederate flag is also printed in gold on the cover.
It is the fourth edition of the membership book of the Association. It is dated July 1, 1893 and contains the constitution and by-laws of the organization formed in 1891
"for the cultivation of social relations among those who were honorably engaged in the service of the Confederate States of America; to preserve the fraternal ties of comradeship; to aid and assist those of its members who, from disease, misfortune or the infirmities of age, may become incapable of supporting themselves or families; to pay a decent respect to the remains and to the memory of those who die, and to see that no worthy member shall ever become an object of public charity."
Why do I have this book, you might well ask.
Because it lists as a member my great-uncle (my grandmother's brother):
J.W. Lyttle.....Lexington, Ky......Private.....Co. A, 3rd Ky. Battalion Cavalry
It also lists one of his sisters, Mamie Lyttle, as an honorary member along with wives and mothers of the veterans.
This of course interests no one but me, but J.W.'s involvement in the Civil War, (or the Northern Aggression or The Great Unpleasantness as it is sometimes referred to) is part of my family history.
And when would I ever have a chance to write about my ownership of said book except on this blog and on this day.