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Maryville High School Red Rebels Veterans Day Program

Arriving at Maryville High School decked out in my Confederate Uniform I was greeted very warmly by several veterans of various US conflicts who had gathered in the gymnasium lobby with other guest, parents, students and staff prior to the Veterans Day Program held by the students and staff of Maryville High.

Today was probably the saddest day for me in this Southern Civil Rights Fight. As I sat there in the gymnasium pondering the events of the program, I could not help think as the colors were posted ; here I sat in the gym in a Southern Town and I can't post the colors of the South. When I first arrived in the gym, the babies in the choir all waved and smiled at me. I stepped over to them, told them just how nice they looked and that I wished they could play Dixie. They smiled and nodded in affirmation. Here I sat listening to the Key Note Speaker talk of how brave , noble , and courageous all these US soldiers were, and how they fought because of the principles of the Constitution ; yet here I sat dressed in the uniform of the greatest and most courageous fighting man ever, at this moment in time , unrecognized .

I looked around the room at the throngs of young people present at this gathering and wondered just what must be going through their minds as young Southerners as they looked upon me; what could I possibly represent in a room where my flag once recently adorned the walls so reverently; now forced to leave in shame, and the brave men who carried her, never mentioned on a day when they called out the veterans name. When the Master of Ceremonies began to speak of all men being created equal , I began to feel the urge to leave ; the irony was if you were a Confederate Soldier or loyal Southerner, equal on this day does not apply.

I suppose there was some solace in the day, as I stood to exist, I returned the salute of the young Black Air Force Sergeant I had been sitting next to during the program, and found myself not only saluting him but also a contingent of other Veterans to include a disabled Viet Nam Veteran who had lost his leg in Viet Nam , and who had earlier expressed his pride in me for coming today for the Confederate Soldier, one of whom was his grand pa.

HK Edgerton