In America, we have celebrations for all kinds of patriotic events. From the fourth of July to Thanksgiving, there is no doubt that we like to reflect upon our unique heritage as a nation. However, there is one major holiday missing there; for some strange reason, we do not routinely celebrate the anniversary of the Confederacy’s defeat.
We all know that the Civil War wreaked havoc upon our country, often pitting brother against brother and resulting in a horrific death toll, the likes of which had never been seen before on American soil. There were many people who thought that the American experiment was dead in the water as a result of the conflict. Somehow, though, the forces of good were able to prevail, resulting in the triumph of the Union.
Since the Union’s victory secured the rebirth of our nation, it does seem incredibly odd that we do not honor Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox. Just 150 years ago, this pivotal event shaped the country that we live in today, unifying it and allowing us to go on in search of a more inclusive way of being. More than the Revolutionary War, the Civil War truly defines the United States of America.
Now, more than enough time has passed to let us come together as a nation and properly celebrate our nation’s extraordinarily rich history—and the fact that we were able to survive some of the most turbulent circumstances with which we have ever been faced. Although April 9 has already passed this year, we can correct the mistake by making it a national holiday every subsequent year. We owe it to ourselves—and our legacy as Americans.