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Monday, May 25, 2009

Eric Ward: Memorial Day Is About Honoring the Righteous

By Eric Ward

Memorial Day, a chance for families and friends to camp, drag out the grill, and take that long anticipated fishing trip. For others the holiday is an opportunity to spend an additional night on the town clubbing and Monday buying out the Mall. For most of us Memorial Day holiday is simply a rare and deserved 3-day respite from work that occurs between the long winter and Labor Day in September.

At least that’s how I used to see Memorial Day up until two years ago. Back in 2007 I found myself in Portland, Oregon browsing for books at Powell’s Books. It’s one of those bookstores where, if you are a book lover, you don’t dare take your credit card. I was on the hunt for a book on the Abolitionist Movement in the United States. I had been making the argument in presentations that those working both to secure immigrant rights in the United States and defeat the anti-immigrant movement were the descendants of the early Abolition Movement.

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Eric Ward is the national field director with the Center for New Community based in Chicago. He is a regular contributor at Imagine 2050 blog, a project of the Center for New Community. Contributors to the blog include activists, immigrants, artists and students who are invested in a future nation that embraces multiculturalism and tolerance.



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