Members of Sons of Confederate Veterans celebrate Lee-Jackson Day in Lexington
LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - Folks have been gathering at the Stonewall Jackson statue to celebrate the Confederate General’s birthday for over two decades. Saturday was no different, even though Lee-Jackson Day is no longer a state holiday. The cemetery’s name also changed last year.
As of last summer, the name of the cemetery with the Stonewall Jackson monument has changed from Stonewall Jackson Cemetery to Oak Grove Cemetery. That name change hasn’t stopped the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) group from coming out and celebrating Stonewall Jackson’s birthday.
“We don’t care what the name of the cemetery is, this is still Jackson circle, it always will be, nobody can control that,” Brandon Dorsey, communications officer for the Stonewall Brigade SCV, said.
The Stonewall Brigade SCV is the group that organized Saturday’s 21st annual event in Lexington. Dorsey and other members of this group marched through Lexington, waving Confederate flags, to follow their yearly tradition of honoring Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee around their birthdays.
“I wish they were born at a warmer time of the year but we’ll deal with the snow and the ice,” Dorsey said.
The cold, wintry weather did not deter the group nor did the fact that this celebration comes after many Confederate monuments have been taken down and Confederate names changed.
“Everything like that certainly has an affect ... But uh, we’re going to continue to celebrate regardless of what goes on in the political arena,” Dorsey explained.
Tim McCurry said he drove four hours from Tennessee to support his ancestors.
”It’s very emotional actually, had three great uncles that fought with the 29th North Carolina out of Western North Carolina,” McCurry said.
Group members said they hope Saturday’s event will help keep the memories alive of the Confederate generals.
“It’s time for this vocal minority to find our voice yet again and say we will not go quietly into the night, we will be heard,” Pastor Creighton Lovelace said to the crowd.
On Monday, the Lexington streets will be filled again, as folks come out to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.
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