My name is Tristan Slicer. I am a junior here at Keene State College. I am majoring in Secondary Education and History with the goal of becoming a middle school social studies teacher. As for my hobbies I enjoy running, hiking and generally being outside. I am also a fan of reading and playing games of both the video and tabletop variety. Finally, I really enjoy coffee of all kinds, and my favorite food is sushi.
For my paper I am researching what I see as a major factor in the construction of Civil War memory, the tradition of Memorial Day. The Civil War was without a doubt fought over the institution of slavery, and yet our national memory doesn’t really present it as such. I am proposing that the practices of Memorial Day worked towards creating a new narrative for the Civil War, one that focused less on what the war really fought over and more on how the North could reconcile with the South through their shared loss of life in the war. To this end I am researching the origins of Memorial Day in the United States as well as mourning practices both sides used to deal with the tragedy of the war. I am also researching Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, a Civil War veteran and Supreme Court Justice. He was a prominent figure in the construction of Civil War memory and gave famous speeches at Memorial Day celebrations following the war that heavily support what is now an accepted narrative of Civil War memory.