Compatriots and Friends,
Let me take this time to tell you what an honor it is to be elected as your Commander-in-Chief. Words cannot adequately describe my feelings. I am humbled to hold an office that only seventy-three men before me have held. It is my pleasure to be a thirty-five year member of the SCV. I remember attending my first Lee-Jackson Banquet at Aunt Fanny’s Cabin in Smyrna, Georgia where all of my family was inducted into the SCV, UDC and CofC. It was a special moment for me but little did I know what the future held.
Through the unity of our organization and the strength of our Confederate Ancestors, we shall continue to move forward to be the preeminent authority on Southern heritage. There are many days ahead of us in the Sesquicentennial and beyond that give us opportunities to promote and honor the heroic deeds of the men and women of 1861-1865. By their examples we can learn a considerable amount; it is our ancestors who endured “Total War” from an illegal invader. Today, like our ancestors, we must also choose to stand fast or retreat? They knew their duty, do we know ours? General Robert E. Lee once said, “Duty then is the sublimit word in the English language, you should do your duty in all things, you can never do more; you should never wish to do less.”
The Confederate soldiers we honor and whose DNA flows in our veins took a stand to proclaim to the world the values of our American Liberties and their commitment to its Cause. Those Principles of 1776 and 1861 are still alive today. Friends, let us reconfirm our commitment to those liberties and the Cause which we hold so dear.
I would like to close with a quote from Jefferson Davis’ proclamation from April 5, 1865 in the capitol in Danville, Virginia. “Let us not, then, despond, my countrymen; but relying on the never-failing mercies and protecting care of our God, let us meet the foe with fresh defiance, with unconquered and unconquerable hearts.”
I now ask you to make a stand as they did, to be unified with others of the same mindset and lineage. As with anything in life, a unified group is more effective than any individual could ever be. I hope you will join me as we honor our Confederate ancestors and as we re-dedicate ourselves to those Principles of 1776 and 1861. May God Bless You and My God Bless the Sons of Confederate Veterans
The Sons of Confederate Veterans has been blessed to have Ben Swell as Executive Director for 12 years. Under his leadership, the SCV has prospered and flourished with his expertise. When Mr. Sewell announced that he would retire, it was known that it would be difficult to find someone of the same caliber.
In Charleston, at the National Reunion, it was announced that Lt. Col Mike Landree, USMC, will follow Mr. Sewell as Executive Director. It is an exciting new chapter for the SCV, and I feel like Lt. Col Landree will continue to lead the SCV into the future. Lt. Col Landree will begin in his new position on December 1, 2014.
So at this time I would like to say welcome aboard to Lt. Col Landree and God Speed to Mr. Sewell.[divider]
In light of the issues at Washington Lee University, I feel it is important to let the membership know who I appointed to the position of Chief of Heritage Operations. Mr. Ben Jones, currently from Virginia, was a former US Congressman from the state of Georgia. His expertise in dealing with high profile situations is one of the many reasons he was chosen. His diplomatic skills will prove to be invaluable in this position.
On many occasions he has proven that he loves his Southern heritage by the fights he has already participated in. One of the most recent that many may remember is when he took on Warner Brothers after they announced they would remove the Confederate Battle Flag off the
General Lee, a car he repaired in the Dukes of Hazard. Yes, Mr. Jones is none other than “Cooter” in the hit TV series that still captivates audiences through out the world. He won that battle, as he has many, and brought awareness to the history of the flag, as well as the Southern people. I hope you will join with him as he guides us through the future heritage issues.
Charles Kelly Barrow
Sons of Confederate Veterans