Why I Am a Member of the Sons of Confederate VeteransBECAUSE I have a deep sense of loyalty to my family and that especially includes my great Grandfather, who, as a private in the Confederate Army with no hope of recognition except that his sacrifice would be remembered by his family, gave his life in defense of his country, his home, and those who would come after him. BECAUSE I believe in the promise of the Man of Galilee, of life after death. As my great grandfather looks down upon me from the Valhalla of Confederate heroes I want him to know that I am not ungrateful, that I remember and honor his bravery and sacrifice. BECAUSE I have so much to be proud of in the Confederate Army. Its brilliant fight, under conditions of extreme privation, against an enemy overwhelming in numbers and equipment, so won the admiration of the world that 100 years later, a group of retired British army and Navy officers organized the Confederate Historical Society of Great Britain, headquartered in London, to study its campaigns. In 1974, a group of Belgians organized the Confederate Historical Society of Belgium, based in Brussels, for the same reason and purpose. The Southern Skirmisher's Ass'n in England re-enacts battles of the War. Some members have to wear the Blue but typical of the sentiment, is one sturdy English Confederate who told a reporter: "...one Southern fighting man was worth two Yankees. I would never be anything but a Southerner." No other army in history has been paid such a tribute by foreigners over a century after the war in which it was engaged. Are foreigners to admire and honor the valor of the Confederate soldier in my family while I remain indifferent? BECAUSE I love the South and I am proud to be a Southerner. I am proud of the culture, grace and elegance of the Old South, of our heritage of courage, honor, chivalry, respect for womanhood, patriotism, and of duty to God and country. I love the Confederate Flag and "Dixie" as stirring symbols of that heritage. I take pride in the earlier leading role the Old South played in the Revolutionary War, the drafting of the Constitution and the founding of the United States. I love the "Star Spangled Banner" and the Flag of the United States, and I served under that flag in World War II. BECAUSE our Southern heritage has served our nation well since 1865. No section has surpassed the South in percentage of volunteers to defend our country in time of war. And the Southern people, who lost everything in the War, and without government aid, had to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, traditionally adhere to the free enterprise System with its liberty and opportunity for all as opposed to the dictatorship of the welfare state with its liberty and opportunity for none. BECAUSE even today, some of our school books, movies, television programs and press falsely portray Southerners as rebels and traitors who fought to preserve slavery, misleading our children and millions of Americans ignorant of history. Since my family fought for the Confederacy, they thereby falsely malign my family and me. BECAUSE there are even those who would ban "as offensive" the playing of Dixie and the display of the Confederate Flag for which so many Southerners shed their blood; who would dismantle all monuments to our Confederate dead; who would erase all honor to Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Wade Hampton, Jeb Stuart, and all our other Southern heroes. Their purpose is to destroy our proud heritage. As Winston Churchill said, any people with contempt for their heritage have lost faith in themselves and no nation can long survive without pride in its traditions. Our enemies know this. At the same time of the movement to ban the display of the Confederate Flag, during the Vietnam War, we saw our American Flag spat upon, burned, and the flag of an enemy nation with whom we were at war, paraded through the streets of our Nation's Capital. BECAUSE I intend to defend my family's honor and remember the sacrifice of my Great Grandfather, Wilson L. Dykes, private in the Confederate Army, and because it is my patriotic duty to my country, I belong to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a respected, non-partisan, patriotic organization dedicated to preserving our Southern Heritage for ourselves, our children, and our children's children, and to seeing that the history of the Confederate States of America and the war fought in its defense, is truthfully recorded. I should also add that my membership is a pleasure because through the programs at SCV meetings I have become much better informed about the most fascinating war in our history, and through SCV social activities I have made many warm friendships, both locally and all over the country. Those of us who belong to the Sons of Confederate Veterans do so:
- "In testimony of our love, recalling deeds immortal, heroism unsurpassed."
- "With ranks unbroken, ragged, starved and decimated, the Southern soldier for duty's sake, undaunted, stood to the front of the battle until no light remained to illumine the field of carnage, save the luster of his chivalry and courage."
January, 1979 Dean Boggs Kirby-Smith Camp, No. 1209 Sons of Confederate Veterans Jacksonville, Florida