R 178
97-H 6751
Passed in House
Apr. 3, 1997

H O U S E     R E S O L U T I O N


WHEREAS, On April 12, 1861, the Union brought into existence by such American giants as Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Madison, forged in the crucible of the blood and fire of the Revolution, came to an end. The bombardment which reduced Fort Sumter to rubble marked the death of the original American experiment in democracy. Four years later, on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, the greatest war in American history came to an end, but the ante bellum Union was as much a victim of this watershed conflict as any of its more than 600,000 casualties. In truth, all American history either points to the Civil War or is a consequence of that apocalyptic struggle; and

WHEREAS, Long before it broke away from Great Britain, America was a country cursed with the evil of slavery, and even after the Revolution, the United States more closely resembled two nations than one. The passage of time served only to widen the chasm between North and South, and while other social and economic factors also divided these areas of the country, it was the spectre of human bondage that came to dominate the intellectual, political, and moral attention of the nation. In an irony of historic proportions, the defenders of the "Peculiar Institution" increasingly came to see themselves, and their region of the country, as chronic, subjugated victims of the growing political and economic strength of their northern brethren; and

WHEREAS, The nation which emerged from the Civil War would never again face such monstrous sectional strife as its people finally came to see themselves, first and foremost, as citizens of the nation, and no longer primarily identified themselves with their native states. Second only to the abolition of slavery, this realization of national union was the greatest positive consequence of the conflict; and

WHEREAS, Modern America is a country which all too often takes its past and its freedoms for granted. It is important, therefore, for this nation's history to transcend being bound in books; it must also live in the hearts and imaginations of its people. Rhode Island, and all of the United States, owe a great debt of gratitude to organizations such as the Ladies Auxiliary of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War for making history come alive in ways that illustrate that it is an integral part of all of our lives; and

WHEREAS, Created "To carry on the work of the Grand Army of the Republic," the Ladies Auxiliary of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War came into being seventy-five years ago to make Rhode Islanders aware of the deeds and services of the Ocean State's Civil War veterans to the state and nation; and

WHEREAS, Visiting area schools to hand out flags, doing charitable works, and offering living history re-creations, such as the organization's April 5, 1997 Annual Appomattox Day Encampment, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is a patriotic organization dedicated to the vital task of preserving the living history of Rhode Island and the United States; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and honors its loyal and devoted members for keeping alive the spirit and importance of this crucial time in our history; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Mary Mierka, President of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

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