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Memorial Day Weekend / An Open Report

Date: May 24, 2007

I would first of all like to thank the following Organizations and individuals who through their generous donations supported my various Memorial Day weekend activities.( Non more significant than the Ceremony produced by the City of Asheville and Buncombe County, and Hosted by Mayor Terry Bellamy's Committee for Veteran Affairs ; The Asheville- Buncombe Memorial Day Ceremony, in my home town of Asheville, N.C.; where U.S. Representative Heath Shuler would deliver the keynote speech ) ; Jackson Rangers Camp 1917 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Col.Hiram Parks Bell Camp 1642 Sons of Confederate Veterans, 52nd Ga. Regt. Camp 1418 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Dixie Daily News,The Southern Legal Resource Center, Dixie OutFitters, Mr.Jarvis Dean, Mr.C.D.Crawford, Mr.Mike Scruggs, The Asheville Tribune, Mr. Marlin Roo , MR.. & Mrs.. Charles Tate,

Just moments before I would adorn the uniform of the Southern Soldier to head to the aforementioned event ; George W. Bush would commence to deliver his Memorial Day Speech. Mr.. Bush spoke of our Freedoms; being able to say what one believes , and what they think. He went on to say that we mourn brave citizens on this day who laid down their lives for our freedom, and that we must be faithful to who they were. A day that we remember those who died in service of our Nation. Mr.. Bush would change his direction and his diatribe , went to the era of the War Between the States. In his accounting , he praised the heroics of a young Union Soldier at the Battle of 1st Manassas's, spoke of how the young man picked up from the ground, the tattered Union Flag, fighting for what he believed in and knew was a just and noble cause. In my heart, I now waited to hear from the man I had supported twice with my vote , and the same for his daddy since he had chosen to recognize this War, as well he should ; to be a place historically in the events of this day ; to speak of the bravery of one such Southern boy who on this same day at Manassas, would run in a hail of fire to pick the tattered and torn Southern Flag , fighting for what he believed in , and knew was a noble and just cause. Mr.. Bush who claims to be a Texan, and Southern did not. He unknowingly then went on to confirm what Southern people have always said about Southerners being the most Patriotic and braves warriors of this land, as he, told the tale of a brave young soldier( Sgt. Mark ) from Murfreesboro, Tennessee( ironically a place where I will be on June 9, 2007 at the Victorian Fair and War Between the States Re-enactment of Nathan Bedford Forest's heroic ride to save Murfreesboro and its citizens from the onslaught of murder, rape, robbery, burning and pilaging that usually accompanied the Northern army as it wage total warfare on innocent civilians.) who had lost his life in Iraq. In a message that Sgt.Mark had left, he stated : Please don't feel bad for us, for we are warriors, and sometimes we die so that the people of our nation won't have to. Spoken like a true Southern man who would want his ancestors who wore the Confederate gray to be honored on this very day, and just as the President proclaimed that he put the Stars and Stripes into the hands of Sgt.Mark's young baby boy, Christian's trembling hands; he should have put the Flag of his Great Grandpa's also..

As I now entered the grounds of City -County Plaza , Confederate Battle Flag in hands , I would be stopped many times by those citizens gathering and gathered for the days ceremony. Many would express their personal gratitude as they had done in preceding years,for my being there with our Southern Flag. Many just wanted to take pictures with me, just like the baby boy from the ROTC who beamed with pride as we posed for a shot from his mom or the elderly grandmother with three of her grandchildren and daughter , who professed to me to be Cherokee and told me of the honorable part that the Cherokee Indian Nation had played under my flag, and wanted to know if I would honor her family with a picture. Just prior to the events beginning, an elderly gentleman approached me , he was wearing a Veteran of Foreign War hat, and apparel ; so I assumed and knew from previous Ceremonies, that he was one of the sponsoring officials. He moved very close to me and said; Please don't disturb our Ceremony. I told him that I had no intention on bring dishonor on my glorious Flag on this day, and had been coming to this very event for years. He then exclaimed that he knew who I was, and I told him if he knew that, why would he say such a thing to me? He asked that I please stay where I was standing when the colors would be brought forward by the ROTC that I now stood beside. I assured him that I would. When the colors were called to be brought forward , this same gentleman moved very close to me, and said, now don't you move. I told him that he now was insulting my character by approaching me again, and that in no uncertain terms that I had in previous years many discussions with the likes of those supposed Southern Veterans like himself who put on this event, that the Southern Flag should be posted, and that his actions further confirmed in my thoughts that it should be.

I would remain standing at attention as the ceremony continued( Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, Invocation, A brief History of Memorial Day, Recognition of Service, and throughout Congressman Shulers speech, until he brought forward the presiding Chief of the Cherokee Indian Nation, at such time I would come to Parade Rest. I could not justify to myself to stand at attention before a man who had led the way to disinherit the ancestors of the African Slave who was held in bondage by the Cherokee Nation, and later married and form family ties with, solely to keep him from sharing in the Tribal Gaming Industry profits. I could neither accept fully the naming of a Veteran Hospital in the name of a Cherokee when the Flag of the Southern Soldier or his Southern Cross is not allow on the grounds of the Veteran Cemeteries there. It was the Cherokee Indian Nation who even though they had a treaty with the Federal Government in the North, broke that Treaty to join forces with the only White man who had delivered on his word, and one he could trust, and one he lived amongst in harmony; the Southern White man and his African family. I would again come to attention for the Placing of the Wreath, as Eric Horner sang a song entitled The Footsteps of a Hero, A Moment of Silence , Ringing of the Bells. I would again come to Parade Rest as a young man from the U.S.Army Reserves read a Soldiers Letter that was obviously that of a Union Soldier from the War between the States; I could not understand why in a Southern town where a Union General had given his word to the Mayor that if his men were to receive provisions , he would not ransack the town. His men would later return, ransack the town. It was said that they tore up so many sheeted and bedding that it actual l;looked like a snow storm had hit the town. The General's word had been broken. A young Black woman(Ms. Rockell Whiteside ) would be asked to come forward to sing. As she began blaring out the Battle Hymn of the Republic; I would do an about face to exist these proceedings; as I turned, I would look in the face of a young Southern baby girl who had posed alongside her dad, a disable veteran on crutches to take pictures with me earlier and who had exhibited an impressive knowledge of Southern history; on her face was a look that seem to plead for me to take our Southern Cross from this moment of disrespect. A young lady would call out to me as I began to leave; she would also ask for a picture, and express her gratitude for me coming on this day. As I stood there acknowledging her; we would be approached by a middle age white man who said to me; I am ashamed of you leaving when they began to play the Battle Hymn. I told him that I was very proud of him understanding why I had left. I knew that he was from the North. Yet I could not understand why and women men of the South would place such a song on the program that honored our fallen dead.