Celebrate or commemorate: Debate rages over Civil War anniversary

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CHARLESTON — - Organizers of Civil War anniversary events sought Wednesday to distance themselves from a ball being held Monday to celebrate secession.

“I won’t be going,” Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said after a news conference held at the Historic Charleston Foundation’s headquarters on East Bay Street, where the mayor and those organizing events to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War underscored their desire to bring attention to historic events without celebrating the war.

The Secession Ball, organized by the Confederate Heritage Trust and sponsored in part by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, is scheduled to be held on Monday in Charleston’s Gaillard Auditorium. The ball will feature a 45-minute play re-enacting the signing of the Ordinance of Secession before a gathering of party-goers wearing period clothes....

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