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An Open Letter on Opportunity Lost/ Leesburg, Va.

Approximately one year ago, I received an invitation to come an appear with the Sons of Confederate Veterans in the President Parade in Alexandria, Virginia. After the parade, I had the opportunity to visit with many of the participants of the parade at the beautiful home of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. While at the facility, I personally signed copies of the now infamous letter that I had written to President George W. Bush, and presented that letter to one of his staff, even though at the time I had already put that letter in the Presidents hands at a town hall meeting in Raleigh, N. C. earlier. The irony for me was that the very table that I signed the letter was the very same table that Marse Lee had signed the treaty at Appomattox Courthouse which ended the War Between The States. I pondered as I sat there what must have been on Marse Lee's mind.

Three days ago I would again receive a passionate plea from these same men once again. This time I was being asked to come and testify before a committee that would decide the fate of a Sons of Confederate Logo sign that was to be displayed along side many other community sign postings. While I had little time to prepare for the trip, I readily agreed to come. I knew that my 1996 Ford Van that was given to me by my God Father J.Pat Baughman which I now fondly refer to as Traveler in honor of Marse Lee's horse was a little sick, her tires balding from the more than 100,000 miles I have put on her from my many travels, headlights not working, sometimes running hot ; I could not risk the chance of taking her the some 441 miles deep into the North . With the March Across Dixie Funds nearly depleted again after we had paid for our successful airing of the Historical Documentary in Maryville, Tennessee, and needing to find a way to do the same in Ashland, Kentucky for the upcoming Black History Month celebrations,. I decided to use the company Hertz car rental card that now gathered dust in my pocket since I had the van. To my dismay it had been cancelled. As time was running out for my departure to Leesburg, I frantically called the men in Leesburg to tell them of my debacle. I knew they would help if they knew., for they had already agreed to compensate me for any expense I occurred getting there. Tuesday morning on the day I was to arrive, I received this message. HK, I just now got your email. I'm sorry I didn't get it sooner., but I suppose this means you won't be coming. Sorry it didn't work out. Maybe the next time. I would write back: Dear Bob, You have no idea just how broken hearted I am about not being able to come. I had Terry Lee, my little brother to gather up some of his very best pictures of Black folks standing very proudly with our Southern Cross. Times like this is the very reason that I sent out a plea to my Southern Family to send donations to the Southern Legal Resource Center March Across Dixie Fund, so that I can come places like Leesburg without having to grovel around for funds to move about. We are now beginning to play the Historical March Across Documentary in places like Leesburg. I believe it is a tremendous awakening for the Nation to hear and see a Southland in the body politic much different than the one written and recorded by those who hate her. I want to come there more than ever before. You men get together and make it so. Please don't give up on me. Your Brother HK. The irony is that I believe I know now how Marse Lee felt that day at Appomattox; resources depleting, men tired, starving, innocent civilians being murdered and burned out by an army that ignored all written and unwritten rules of civilized warfare.