African American History Culture : Ithaca, NY Memorial pays honor to 26 African-American Civil War vets

dustyelbow

Well-Known Member
MEMBER
Oct 25, 2005
1,210
23
Article published May 31, 2006
Ithaca Memorial pays honor to 26 African-American Civil War vets

By M.D. Morris
Special to The Journal
The Congress, in its ever-changing wisdom, by its National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90-363), ordained the last Monday in May each year as Memorial Day, to ensure a three-day weekend for Americans. And that happy holiday rapidly became a celebration of the threshold of summer.

Now, in the quiet after both the official holiday and the traditional day of remembrance, May 30, have passed, it's clear that we've lost track of the real meaning for Memorial Day: “Where are you going over Memorial Day?” has outdated “Whom are you remembering Memorial Day?”

General John A. Logan, then National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, through his General Order 11 (5 May, 1868) called for a Decoration Day — first observed May 30, 1868 — to put flags and flowers on the graves of Civil War veterans.

New York was the first state to acknowledge it as a holiday. In 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized Waterloo, N.Y., as the actual first place, although many others claim that distinction.

Here in Ithaca, we have a unique Memorial Day marker. At St. James African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 116 Cleveland Ave., beside “old glory” stands a black, African gemite marble table with white-carved messages dedicated to the 26 Ithacan soldiers of the 26th Regiment.

By 1861, Ithaca had a small, thriving black community. Ithaca was a busy station on the Underground Railroad for escaped slaves traveling from the South to freedom in Canada. Both Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass were closely involved in it, here at St. James. Douglass said, “Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, U.S. ... there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship in the United States.”

Twenty-six young Ithaca black men enlisted and were sent to Rikers Island, where they were incorporated into the 26th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops.

Active on Johns and James Island, Honey Hill, Beaufort, S.C., and a number of other sites, the unit was mustered out at Brownsville, Texas, in August 1865 to return home to Ithaca. Except for Daniel Johnson and Edward Sorrell, 24 of the original 26 men came back home to St. James in Ithaca.

The cruel irony of that chapter is that 180,000 young African-American men — 10 percent of the Union Army — freely volunteered “to fight for ... liberty.” They got the muskets and the bullets Frederick Douglass required, but not the “brass letters, U.S.,” and the “eagle on his button.” They were the “U.S. Colored Troops,” apart from the regular white, U.S. Army. For about a year, between 1863 and 1864, USCT were paid less than white soldiers, until all troops pressured the Congress to reinstate the equal pay policy. Twenty one African-American soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor for their Civil War heroism, but the U.S. Armed Forces continued the oxymoronic policy of segregation. President Harry S. Truman integrated all the U.S. Armed Forces, albeit 180 years late.

St. James African Methodist Episcopal Zionist Church was begun in 1803 by Peter Webb and friends at the home of the Reverend Henry Johnson; then officially chartered in 1833.

Now Ithaca's oldest surviving original church building, it was erected in 1836 at its present site on Cleveland Avenue, then called Wheat Street. It quickly became the cultural, political and spiritual heart of the Ithaca black community; in 1841 it further served as a school for its children.

Visit the church's monument to renew personally the meaning of the occasion: to remember.

On Jan. 19, 1999, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, R-Hawaii, introduced a bill (5189) proposing to restore the traditional Memorial Day observance to May 30 exclusively. On April, 19, 1999 Representative James A. Gibbons, R-Nev., floated a similar bill in the House (HR1474). Both bills have been stalled in committees.

Growing up in New York City, I was steeped in Memorial Day from about my sixth year. Annually, my marvelous father would take me — in the early days, on his shoulders — to see the great parade up Riverside Drive to the huge marble Soldiers and Sailors Monument at 89th Street, where it would disband after a brief ceremony, sometimes officiated by the mayor.

I remember, I had the grand thrill of seeing live, the last three; then two; then one Civil War veteran riding by, proudly, in an open limousine. And then there were none.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Noty getting paid for freedom and fighting for FREE. Who would have known in theses DAYS and TIME.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Clyde C Coger Jr African American History Culture : New Emmett Till Memorial Will Be Made Bulletproof, Group Says African American History Culture 4
Kemetstry Black People : BLACK PEOPLE FOUNDED MEMORIAL DAY! Black People Open Forum 0
R Black Poetry : HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY On Sunday we pray the last Monday in May is Memorial // Day in a pastoral way cel Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 0
OldSoul Black People : Lynching memorial rewrites American history Black People Open Forum 4
Clyde C Coger Jr African American History Culture : This new lynching memorial rewrites American history African American History Culture 3
R Black Poetry : HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY On Sunday we pray the last Monday in May is Memorial // Day in a pastoral way ce Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 0
chuck Black People Politics : Any Comments About Obama's Memorial Day Speech In Japan? Black People Politics 6
R Black Poetry : HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 0
KingSango Black People : FBI orders new agents to see MLK Memorial Black People Open Forum 2
Alarm Clock Black Women : Memorial Day honor to Nana Harriet Tubman Black Women 5
Alarm Clock Black Men : Memorial Day honor to Minister Nat Turner Black Men 3
cherryblossom Black Ancestors : Memorial Day: Sankofa Honoring Black Ancestors 15
Ankhur Black People : Questionable OTHER Dedictions at the Dr Martin Luther King Memorial in DC Black People Open Forum 1
Ankhur Black People : NAACP to protest Confederate memorial celebration in SC Black People Open Forum 0
Ankhur Black People : First Americans Memorial Day today Black People Open Forum 6
Ankhur Black Entertainment : Memorial Day movie, "Miracle of St Anna" or "American Gangster"? Black Entertainment 0
Ankhur Black People : Memorial Day time of Tribute to Our Soldiers Black People Open Forum 1
cherryblossom African American History Culture : The Clayton-Jackson-McGhie Memorial, Duluth, MN African American History Culture 0
river Black People : Recording of Michael Jackson's Memorial Service Live Black People Open Forum 7
THE-GOD Black People : Anybody ever been to the George Washington Masonic Memorial? Black People Open Forum 0
R Black People : Confederate War Memorial Black People Open Forum 10
$$RICH$$ Quiet Poetry Lounge : REMEMBERING .......A MEMORIAL Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 4
Destee Pan Africanism : First Memorial to Black Victims of Nazi Genocide African American History Culture 0
O Black People : a memorial observance Black People Open Forum 5
P Black People : Work begins on memorial to Africans Black People Open Forum 0
Aaliyahmonet Black People : Ronald Reagan Memorial Black People Open Forum 14
D Black Poetry : Memorial to loved ones and friends Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 5
Queenie Black Children : Alabama town plans memorial to black teens Black Children 1
E Black People : Should they rebuiid some new business where the WTC was or make it a memorial spot? Black People Open Forum 1
Aaliyahmonet Black Poetry : Memorial Day Loss Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 2
$$RICH$$ Black Poetry : Memorial Day ! Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 2
$$RICH$$ Black Poetry : Memories On Memorial Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 14
Clyde C Coger Jr Black Positive People : Ava DuVernay Pays Tribute To Michelle Obama's Slave Ancestor Black People Doing Positive Things 0
chuck Black People : Young Black NBA Star David West Pays For Dr. Ben's Furneral Black People Open Forum 2
1poetsought Black Entertainment : The Artist Pays the Price Black Entertainment 0
ru2religious Black People : Black over pays child support and visit son to much going to jail!!! Black People Open Forum 23
MsInterpret Black Money Business Jobs : 25 Year Old Pays Off $26,500 In 2 years Black Money Business Jobs 2
blazejay Black Money Business Jobs : The reason crime pays Black Money Business Jobs 6
Knowledge Seed Zimbabwe : Black Power: Zimbabwean businessman pays for Africans to attend Morehouse Zimbabwe 4
RAPTOR Black People : Crime pays (for the "1%"). Black People Open Forum 3
AACOOLDRE Black Short Stories : CRIME PAYS Short Stories - Authors - Writing 5
K Libya : Italy Pays Reparations to Libya Libya 26
D Black Education / Schools : Pays to be African to school children yr 2007 Black Education / Schools 5
F Black Positive People : Students' hard work pays off Black People Doing Positive Things 0
D Black People : Immigrant Study Shows Being Paler Pays A Bonus Black People Open Forum 1
Destee Black People : Stevie Wonder pays funeral fees for 5 children in Philly fire Black People Open Forum 3
Similar threads














































Latest profile posts

Cheryl Fitts wrote on Destee's profile.
I am looking for participants in a study to share their experiences as former African American males served as ED/EBD/BD in the southeast. Participants ages 18-35 will be interviewed and given the opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings and impressions of their school years. If interested or for more information please contact me directly. Thanks, Cheryl
Cheryl Fitts wrote on Destee's profile.
Thank you for the welcome. I have a question. I am a doctorate student in need of participants for my study. Is it allowable to post a request for study participants. If so, this is the post that would be uploaded:
Let's us all remember in 2021 to protect our energy and to do the best we can to grow and evolve.
Queen Destee im back still showing lo e after what 20+ yrs? You know always stop through from time to time
Destee wrote on rhymebad's profile.
@rhymebad ... i love you ... :love: ... what was going wrong about polls and being blocked and stuff?
Top