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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 5, 2021 01:19 PM
From: Senator Art Haywood
To: All Senate members
Subject: Recognizing Appomattox Day as a State Holiday in Pennsylvania
In the near future, I will introduce a resolution declaring "Appomattox Day" as a holiday in Pennsylvania on 9 April 2021.

9 April 1865 marks the date when the Confederate army of Northern Virginia, led by General Robert E. Lee, surrendered to the Union General Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox, Virginia. The surrender ended the U.S. Civil War and the attempts to expand enslavement and end the Republic. General Lee is noted as saying, in defense of the Confederacy, “There is nothing left for me to do but to go and see General Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths.” General Lee later surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in the front parlor of the home of Wilmer McLean in Appomattox. General Grant created the terms of surrender which allowed 28,000 Confederate soldiers to go home.

This year will mark the 156th anniversary of the surrender at Appomattox. It is important to reflect on historical events such as this because they remind us of our nation’s capability to persevere through times of extreme division. This day signifies the resilience of our nation and its people. The surrender at Appomattox led to the reconstruction of those states that rebelled against the end of enslavement of African Americans. By remembering this event, we recognize our country’s ongoing struggle to improve itself and speak with one voice.

African American Abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, reflected on the surrender in a Decoration Day address at Arlington National Cemetery in 1871. Douglass said: “...We are sometimes asked, in the name of patriotism, to forget the merits of this fearful struggle, and to remember with equal admiration those who struck at the nation's life and those who struck to save it, those who fought for slavery and those who fought for liberty and justice... But we are not here to applaud manly courage, save as it has been displayed in a noble cause. We must never forget that victory to the rebellion meant death to the Republic.”

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important resolution.

Introduced as SR68