RESOLUTION OF CONDEMNATION AGAINST PROPOSED VETERANS ADMINISTRATION BILL
(ATLANTA – May 31, 2016) The Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans condemns in the most vehement manner H.R. 4974 passed on May 19, 2016 entitled “Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017” which included an anti-Southern bigoted amendment to prohibit large scale displays of Confederate flags in Veterans Administration Cemeteries (effectively, all national cemeteries), including mass Confederate graves. The proposed resolution is a slap in the face of every military veteran who has ever served his native state and country and should be repugnant to all Americans who value the American principles of patriotism and liberty embodied in the Confederate dead buried in national parks and cemeteries.
Congress has officially recognized Confederate veterans buried in national cemeteries at least as far back as 1906 when Congress passed Public Law 38, 59th Congress which authorized the expenditure of federal funds to provide headstones for Confederate veterans buried in federal cemeteries. Another act of the 70th Congress which passed on Feb. 26, 1929 extended the authorization of federal funds for Confederate headstones in private cemeteries. On May 26, 1930, new regulations adopted by the War Department further provided for Confederate headstones to include the inscription of the Southern Cross of Honour in addition to the soldier’s name, rank, company, and regiment.
On December 14, 1898, in a speech following the Spanish-American War, President William McKinley said this of honouring Confederate dead as all other American veterans, “…every soldier’s grave made during our unfortunate civil war is a tribute to American valor… And the time has now come… when in the spirit of fraternity we should share in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers…The cordial feeling now happily existing between the North and South prompts this gracious act and if it needed further justification it is found in the gallant loyalty to the Union and the flag so conspicuously shown in the year just passed by the sons and grandsons of those heroic dead.”
Current U.S. laws signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved on May 23, 1958 (U.S. Public Law 85-425: Sec. 410) bestowed veterans rights to all Confederate veterans and their widows, including pensions, equal to that of united States veterans, effectively affording Confederate veterans living and dead the same status and legitimacy as American soldiers of other wars.
As is evident from the above references, the respect given to Confederate veterans buried in national cemeteries has historically recognized them as American veterans and also embraced recognition of their service as Confederate Americans. A decision today to break from that historical respect would be, according to former President McKinley, to break asunder the spirit of fraternity and the cordial feeling which has happily existed between North and South at least since the Spanish American War and to recreate the spirit of division and disunity which haunted these united States prior to the late War of Northern Aggression. Should the U.S. Senate agree to pass this resolution in complicity, it will have effectively destroyed whatever reconciliation has existed between the two regions for more than 150 years and will justify the belief of millions of Southerners that there is, indeed, a current anti-Southern discrimination and bigotry in Washington among both Republicans and Democrats. It will also signal to those millions of Southerners that they have once again become just another fiefdom of serfs in an unequal union forced upon them as predicted by their visionary Confederate ancestors who warned of a coming federal empire.
All Americans who love and believe in respect for veterans are hereby encourage to immediately contact their U.S. Senators and urge them, for the sake of reconciliation, legitimacy and civil peace, to refuse to affirm this House resolution in its current form. All U.S. Senators may be contacted easily through this site… http://www.senate.gov/general/contacting.htm
For more information about the Sons of Confederate Veterans or any of this year’s planned events to commemorate our Southern Heritage, contact the Georgia SCV at 404-271-8473 or online at www.GeorgiaSCV.org
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