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An Open Report/Ironton, Ohio
A town official of Ironton, Ohio who had the distinction of heading up the committee of entrants to the annual Veterans Day Parade had taken it upon himself to abuse his authority by banning the Sons of Confederate Veterans from participating. He had further issued a declaration, that as long as he was alive, no Confederate Flag would march on the streets of Ironton.
On Saturday morning, September 26, 2009, as the skies blackened and lightning bolts flashed across the skies and the sound of thunder made one shudder, a small contingent of Southern folks alongside the Division Commanders of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and a Representative of the Michigan Sons of Confederate Veterans gathered readying for a planned march through these streets of Ironton culminating at the County Courthouse.
I must say that when the Chief of Police arrived and questioned young Frances ( Bud ) Strausbaugh who had worked alongside the mayor and Chief to obtain a permit for the March, are you folks going to call this off? I looked around at those gathered. One baby girl who had looked so pretty in her period garb, now looked like a mermaid. They were all drenched by the continuous rain pouring down from what now looked like the evening sky, even though it was now 9:00 AM. We have come too far was the reply. Then I shall send your escort replied the Chief.
When the Kentucky Division Commander called out to me, come on HK, I must say that all I could think of was, if my sister saw this spectacle on TV, I was going to have to partake of that Castor oil she had threatened me with all week. In that moment, I completely understood just what it means to be called Southern. Nothing could break their spirit, or deter them from honoring the memory of those who paid the ultimate price with their lives in defense of their homeland and her people. And I, like so many who looked like me had done, no matter their social standing, freed or indentured would take my place proudly beside my family, because when the day was done, I too was Southern.
In conclusion, may God forever bless the Honorable Mayor, Police Chief and people of Ironton, Ohio who were so very kind. And as far as the gentleman who made the declaration "that no Confederate Flag would march through the streets of Ironton as long as he was alive"; I hope that he did not pass away on Saturday morning.