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January 19, 2006 was a warm sunny day, very unusual for Robert E. Lee's Birthday. Usually on this day we freeze while honoring General Lee, but this was shirtsleeve weather
The trip to Hellanta was uneventful except for my mandatory mis-turn. Today I missed Memorial Avenue and by the time I realized I was off course, I was in the middle of downtown Hellanta and from there I could easily see where it got it's nickname.
Still I arrived at the staging area by 10:15, to find many old acquaintances already there. The Robert E. Lee Birthday rally is like a reunion with all the old friends you seldom see, elsewhere.
At about 10:45 we began forming our lines for the march to the Capitol.
Left - Mike Crane and his wife
Some scenes of the gathering crowd
|Left - Dan Coleman
Suzanne and Russ Huffman with Steve Scroggins
Suzanne, Myself and Steve of Camp 1688
|Preparing to get started|
|Left - Lining up
Right - Our Motorcycle escort
Left - The view from my position
Right - The row of Marchers.
We took a different route due to the fact that Turner Stadium will no longer permit groups to use their parking lot. The March began on Whitehall Street, a little west of the Capitol,
As we marched we were heckled by several African-American gentlemen who seem to think that diversity only applies to them, and that Tolerance means agreeing with their ideas while they are free to insult anyone they disagree with. At any rate, they seriously disagreed with us Confederate-Americans.
At one point, a couple of these gentlemen attempted to step into our ranks, but were swiftly rebuffed by the Authorities. There were escorts from the Atlanta Police Department and the Georgia State Patrol. I'm not sure who the Officers in the olive-drab jumpsuits were, but at least one of them acted quickly and decisively, grabbing the perpetrator and sending him on his way.
On the Steps of the Capitol
Who is that guy in the picture on the left? He looks very familiar.
|Left - Georgia and AOT. Commander,
The assembly during the commencement.
Billy Bearden, Flagger
|The Alexander Stephens Memorial
|Right - Pastor John Weaver speaks on Robert E. Lee.||Lee's Cadets below the picture of Robert E. Lee|
There was one more incident that day, as we walked back from the Capitol to the staging area, and this time I had a front row view. As we passed another of these culturally sensitive African-American gentleman, he began to utter derogatory and inflammatory comments about our flags, adding some racial slurs.
One of the walkers took offense and began to defend the flag, but his defense took on an ugly tone as more invectives were exchanged. Realizing that this could escalate into a serious incident I stepped between the Compatriot and his potential opponent, placed my hand on his shoulder and reminded him that he was representing the flag, today, and to show it honor. As we walked away, a few more comments were uttered to our departing backs.
These were the only incidents I witnessed but it did cause me to think about the parallels. Twice to my knowledge, we were set upon, insulted and antagonized by the very people who insist on racial sensitivity and insist that we accept their culture while they demean, insult and vilify ours. Perhaps they should practice what they preach?
We had approximately 250 people who attended, in Honor of the 199th Birthday of Robert E. Lee, one of the greatest men who ever lived.
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