Sons of Confederate Veterans
“Historic Elm Springs”
2 May 2017
There has been an immense amount of confusion, misinformation and misdirection concerning the situation in New Orleans with regards to our monuments. The Louisiana Division, SCV has been in this fight since the mayor of New Orleans first announced his intentions to take down the monuments two years ago in 2015. Division Commander, JC Hanna, has led the efforts to fight back for his entire tenure in office, and between the Camps in New Orleans, the Louisiana Division and the National GEC, tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees have been spent, and hundreds of hours of planning and consultation have gone into this situation. Moreover, there are Confederate Monuments all over the state of Louisiana, and over the last few years they have all come under attack. Every single one of them are still standing due to the efforts of the Louisiana Division, SCV. These include, but are not limited to, The Gen Mouton Statue in Lafayette, the Confederate Monument in Shreveport, The South’s Defender Monument in Lake Charles, The Confederate Monument in Homer, La and many more. The notion that “Louisiana has done nothing” is blatantly incorrect. The Louisiana Division has put more time and effort into these battles, including in New Orleans, than every other organization combined, and Louisianans know the inner workings of this situation much better than any other outside entity.
When Commander Hanna put out his orders to, first, rally around the monuments, and later to withdraw from standing vigil because of safety issues and to direct their efforts towards lobbying the State legislature in passing the monuments protection acts now in committee, these memos were directed to members of the Louisiana Division. Social media being what it is, these messages went viral and others from out of State assumed incorrectly that Commander Hanna was asking for outside help, or, a few days later, giving directives to members of other Divisions or other organizations to “stand down”. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we now have a proverbial “powder keg” situation on our hands which can potentially explode in all of our faces and do our Cause irreparable harm.
There have been numerous comments on social media stating that the SCV “only cares about its image”. Of course we care about our image, but it is our image and our approach to this situation that will determine the outcome of whether or not these Memorial protection laws, directed towards protecting the monuments of ALL VETERANS, will pass the State legislature or not. If one incident occurs where someone ends up getting hurt, we will be pummeled in the media and the court of public opinion, whether one of our members is guilty or not, and our potential for protecting these monuments through legislation will likely die as a result. This is not what anyone wants!
Gentlemen, it is absolutely imperative that we put ego, innuendo, rumors and everything else aside and work together as one entity to do all that we can in an effort to make these bills successful. Everything else is secondary to that. I am asking you to rally behind our Brothers in Louisiana and help us to win this fight. In turn, I am asking Commander Hanna to consult with my staff on the GEC and myself regarding every step the Louisiana Division takes going forward. The State Legislature in Louisiana is our sole hope in protecting these monuments, and we must speak with one voice and conduct ourselves accordingly in an effort to bring these bills to fruition.
For The Cause
Thos. V. Strain Jr.
Sons of Confederate Veterans