01 Jun Memorial Day Weekend in Beaufort
Beginning during the Civil War, Memorial Day has a special place in our history. Launched by a group of young black Charlestonians, who placed flowers on the mass grave of soldiers lost during the Civil War, it became known as “Decoration Day.” It carried out a long history in Beaufort through my childhood.
As families gathered at the Beaufort National Cemetery, Boundary Street was lined with vendors selling all sorts of food, families picnicking and people coming together to celebrate the lives of those lost at war. The rather festive activity morphed into a more serene day with families gathered in the cemetery after a grand parade.
Then the Original Gullah Festival, thirty years ago, added to the festivities spreading the celebration over the Memorial Day weekend. The Original Gullah Festival focuses on education and cultural preservation of the African American Gullah heritage in the low country. If you missed it this year, mark your calendars for 2017!
The following are images of Monday’s event at the National Cemetery: