Thursday, May 31, 2012

Virginia Flaggers Update - Memorial Day 2012

Virginia Flaggers Update - Memorial Day 2012
Memorial Day, 2012 found the Va Flaggers crisscrossing the Commonwealth.  Virginia Flaggers in Fredericksburg, Dinwiddie, Richmond, Powhatan, and Petersburg forwarded the colors and made sure our Confederate dead were honored and remembered.
Fredericksburg: National Park Service Memorial Day Procession - Susan Hathaway
Monday morning, May 28th, the Virginia Flaggers headed North on Interstate 95 to join the newly formed Fredericksburg flaggers for their first official flagging event.  It was a hot day, with temperatures approaching 90 degrees by 11:00 a.m.
When we arrived in Fredericksburg, we met Flagger Mike Virts, who explained that the route for the remembrance walk had changed.  Instead of taking the main street through town, the procession would travel along a side street.  Karen, Tripp, and I had parked at the end of the route, so we decided to walk the along the original main route, to get to the step off point.  Three flaggers from Fredericksburg positioned themselves with flags at the end of the route.  The reaction from passers- by as we walked was 100% positive, with many honks, waves, and thumbs up.  Several pedestrians asked why we were there and we told them about the procession and invited them to attend.
When we got to the parade step off point, we were surprised that there were very few participants gathered.  The "official" members of the procession were made up of about ½ dozen USCT members and ½ dozen Union and civilian re-enactors.  We waited on the corner across from the church where they had gathered and were greeted warmly by all the participants and interviewed by the press.  When the parade stepped off, we fell in behind the civilians who had joined the walk.
During the procession, we chatted with other participants, and again, met with no resistance from anyone in the group walking, or any of those gathered to watch.  A trolley full of tourists clapped and waved as we walked by, and shouts of "keep it flying" were heard.
At the end of the route, we shouted for the Fredericksburg flaggers to "fall in" with us, and Al Bruner did just that, finishing up at the Fredericksburg National Battlefield Visitor's Center.   There were an abundance of National Park Service Rangers on hand, and we learned that they had heard we were coming and wanted to make sure there would be no "trouble".  We assured them that we were there to honor our Confederate dead on Memorial Day, not to cause trouble, and if they were looking for any, they were sorely disappointed.
After the walk, we met with the Fredericksburg flaggers, exchanged information and literature, and we passed out our Flagger flyers to those from the procession who remained at the Visitor's Center.  Having commitments in Richmond later that day, we could not stay for the noon service scheduled on the grounds.
The Va Flaggers accomplished what we set out to do, and MUCH more!  We brought a Confederate presence to a Memorial Day Service in Fredericksburg, Virginia…forwarded the flag for many to see and appreciate…and made sure our Confederate dead were honored and memorialized on a sacred day of remembrance. 
RICHMOND:  Confederate War Memorial, Pelham Chapel - Billy Bearden
As Confederate Flagger forces were needed in numerous places throughout the day, A contingent under GENERAL Susan LEE Hathaway traveled to reinforce troops in Fredericksburg, while another manned defenses around the Chapel under GENERAL GRAYson GHOST Jennings.
When they arrived, GRAYson GHOST found that while they were allowing re-enactors to carry the flags directly into the Chapel, they were NOT allowing anyone to stand outside the Chapel, or on the sidewalk in front of the Chapel with a Confederate flag.
Joined by troopers David Rice and Jim Perkins, GENERAL GRAY GHOST had a more difficult enemy, the doughnut munching roly poly rent a cop who was protecting the grounds of a Confederate Memorial from Confederate Battle flags....makes a lot of sense doesn't it? Only if you are the Director of the VMFA!  ;)
Va Flaggers attended Confederate Memorial services across the Old Dominion, including Petersburg, Dinwiddie, and Huguenot Springs Confederate Cemetery in Powhatan, where the Va Flaggers were invited to place a wreath at the monument to our Confederate dead...
It was a beautiful ceremony, and an honor and privilege to participate in this moving tribute. LEST WE FORGET!
THURSDAY, May 31st:  We will be flagging the VMFA on Thursday from 3-Dusk, and are anticipating a VERY SPECIAL GUEST and hot Carolina BBQ on the Boulevard.  Make plans to be there and then attend the J.E.B. Stuart Camp #1343 monthly meeting at the Grapevine Restaurant, Three Chopt and Church Rd., where SCV Commander In Chief Michael Givens will be speaking. 
SATURDAY, JUNE 2nd:   Confederate President Jeff Davis' 204th birthday anniversary at 9:00 a.m., Hollywood Cemetery. Guest speaker Michael Givens. Ceremonial flags, with certificate, available for donation. Free programs and souvenir ribbons available. Free and open to the public.  There will be an SCV National Medal Of Honor bestowal on Pvt. Lawrence Berry, 3rd Company, Washington Artillery, Louisianna, in conjunction with the Jeff Davis service. CIC Michael Givens will present the award to a representative of the Petersburg Siege Museum, who will place the award on permanent display at the museum. Pvt. Berry is known as the 'Hero Of Fort Gregg', for his action on April 2, 1865, which allowed General Robert E. Lee to withdraw his Confederate forces in an orderly manner from the Petersburg battlefield. Click here to view a color image of Pvt. Berry or click here to view a short article about Pvt. Berry. The research for this project was done by past 1st Lt. Commander, Virginia Division, Mike Thomas, and also John Henry Taylor, of the Robert E. Lee Camp in Midlothian (AND VA FLAGGERS!). Both compatriots will be participating in the presentation.
Immediately following the Memorial Service to honor the birthday of President Jefferson Davis at Hollywood Cemetery, the Va Flaggers will head over to the VMFA to stand with our flags in honor and memory of Jefferson Davis, and in  protest of the removal of Confederate Battle Flags from the Confederate War Memorial/Pelham Chapel. We are asking all Confederates to come as you are and join us on the sidewalk. We will enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds of the VMFA and flag until 5:00. No experience necessary! Va Flaggers will be there, ready and willing to help you learn the ropes! Just bring a flag, a smile, and a heart for honoring your ancestors.
RETURN the flags! RESTORE the honor!
June 9th: 147th Consecutive Annual..."9th of June" Ceremony at Blandford Church Confederate Memorial Shrine, Petersburg, Virginia.  Blandford Cemetery, Crater Road, Petersburg, Virginia.  Time is 5:00 PM. Free.
June 30:  Point Lookout Confederate Cemetery Pilgrimage.  
July 22:  1:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, Stonewall Confederate Cemetery (located within Mount Hebron Cemetery) in Winchester, Virginia.  Texas Division Children of the Confederacy will dedicate a 10 1/2 ft.,"150 Years of Remembrance" Memorial Monument honoring six (6) Texas Confederate soldiers. The top of the monument will feature a 12 inch stainless steel star which is being made in Austin, TX. The star will be shipped to Virginia to be placed on top of the monument which will serve as a perpetual memorial to the men who served from the Lone Star State.   The monument is the President's Project of Miss Kassidi Woodlock, President, 2011-2012, The Texas Division Children of the Confederacy.
September 15:   9th Annual Richard "Dick" Poplar Day at 11:30 a.m.  Memorial Hill, Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, Virginia
Look for more details on these and many other Confederate events planned in the coming months! 
More info. can also be found on our public FaceBook page, "Confederate Flaggers:  Stand, Fight, and Never Back Down".
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