While we here in South Carolina are able to rest a little more thanks to the work that was completed back in 2000 with laws that protect our heritage, our kinsman from Virginia have a different scenario on the fate of our Confederate history when it comes to monuments, statues, Street names. And, they need everyone’s help.
The precedence cannot be allowed…
Below is information that has been passed on today through email.
Since the Call To Action went out early yesterday, the response has been great, and we appreciate all who have shared the email, spread the word, and forwarded emails sent to Charlottesville councilmen in response to the upcoming public hearing regarding dropping the Robert E. Lee holiday from the City calendar.
Florida Div 5th Lt. Cmdr Mike Herring sent us this excellent letter, written by the Jubal Early Camp 556 Adjutant, who gave us permission to share with our supporters.
Dear Mayor Satyendra Singh Huja,
As a sometime historian, with ancestors who fought on both sides during the War Between the States, I find it very disheartening this trend to “trash” anything to do with the Confederate States of America and those who fought for its independence. My Kentucky ancestors who fought for the Union were not fighting to end slavery. They were fighting to maintain the Union. My Kentucky and Tennessee ancestors who fought (and in some cases died) for the Confederacy were not fighting in the cause of slavery. They were fighting to protect their homes and for Southern independence. As such, I honor my ancestors who fought honorably on both sides of this unfortunate war. To tear down monuments, rename parks, remove flags and paintings, and take away holidays to honor either side is an abomination.
I’m reminded of my relatives who in World War II fought for the United States, Great Britain, and yes, Germany. My father-in-law was drafted into the Germany Army and to refuse was to be executed or be sent to a concentration camp. His family members would also have been punished. Both my father, a US Army veteran, and my father-in-law met before their deaths. They became friends and saluted each others service, none of which involved criminal activity by either. We should honor as well, our ancestors and others who fought honorably in our country’s most deadly war.
Kenneth (Ken) Minton, Ed.D
US Arm (Ret. CW3)
The original call to action email is copied below, along with the contact information sent. Please take a moment to write an email, make a phone call, or attend the meeting Monday night.
Also, please consider submitting a Letter To the Editor in one or all of these local publications:
Charlottesville Daily Progress: http://www.dailyprogress.com/site/letters_policy.html
Thank you all for your support!
Back in Virginia, we have just learned that there will be a public hearing this Monday night in Charlottesville, Virginia, to consider removing the Lee-Jackson holiday as an official holiday in the City.
City Councilor Kristin Szakos has long made the argument to City Council that the holiday should not an official city holiday.
“If people want to celebrate Lee and Jackson I have no objection to that, but for the city to close City Hall in commemoration of Lee and Jackson? I think a lot of our residents feel that doesn’t represent them. It doesn’t represent me.”
If the name sounds familiar to some of you, it may be because Ms. Szakos has a history of a strong Anti-Confederate agenda, calling for the removal of Confederate statues in the city in a 2012 Forum:
“Charlottesville City Counselor Kristin Szakos says it’s time for a discussion about what Charlottesville’s historic Confederate statues are saying about this community. One of the options she’s proposing is pulling Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson down off of their stone perches.”
Time is not our side in this one, but we believe that City Council at least needs to hear from as many people as possible between now and Monday.
Please take a moment to call or send an email asking them NOT to remove the Lee-Jackson Holiday from the City Calendar.
We suggest considering including the following talking points in any communications:
1) This holiday honors two AMERICAN VETERANS. Both men served both the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia. To deny them the honor and remembrance they deserve is to insult and dishonor ALL Veterans.
2) PRECEDENCE: The holiday is recognized as a state holiday by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a proclamation is issued each year by the Governor, including current Governor, Terry McAullife: https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/proclamations/proclamation/lee-jackson-day/
3) Any effort to remove the holiday will only cause division and strife where none existed. As it is, the holiday is inclusive to all citizens. This move serves to exclude and discriminate against citizens of Confederate ancestry.
Mayor Satyendra Singh Huja
(434) 977-5094 (H)
(434) 981-8948 (C)
Vice Mayor Dede Smith
(434) 882-2933 (C)
(434) 987-1042 (C)
(434) 249-6404 (C)
(434) 249-3406 (C)
To contact all the City Councilors with a question or comment CLICK HERE.
To contact Paige Rice, Clerk of Council, call 434-970-3113 or CLICK HERE.
P.O. Box 911, City Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22902
The meeting Monday night, February 2nd begins at 7:00 p.m. Agenda attached. We contacted the Clerk of Council and were told that the public is allowed to comment and that anyone wishing to speak needs to sign up before the meeting, beginning at 6:30. Even if you do not wish to speak, having a good presence in the meeting will send a strong signal to the City Council, so please make an effort to attend if you live within driving distance and encourage others to do so.