The SCV a Heritage Organization? NO SIR!!!
I constantly hear people referring to the Sons of Confederate Veterans as a “heritage group” or “heritage organization”. Even from those within our ranks, these words can be heard. We are not and cannot be rightly considered a “heritage” group. Heritage groups are formed by those wishing to preserve a legacy and memorialize a moment in history. While that is part of what we wish to do, it is only a small part, and is not our main purpose.
“To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish.
Are you also ready to die for your country? Is your life worthy to be remembered along with theirs? Do you choose for yourself this greatness of soul? Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves are triumph and defeat.”
Lt. General Stephen Dill Lee
Commander General United Confederate Veterans,
New Orleans, Louisiana, April 25, 1906
What sets us apart is the charge that we received. Our mission was overridden by the command given us by our fathers and grandfathers. Whatever the Sons of Confederate Veterans had been prior alongside the United Confederate Veterans up to that time ceased, and we became something more. We became the bearers of the cause and its vindication for which our fathers and grandfathers left their wives, children, farms and land to fight for something greater than themselves. The cause of freedom. The cause of justice. The cause of self rule. That was not a responsibility that we asked for, but it was passed to us. And just as an Olympic runner receiving a torch does not decide to quit because the first part of the run was not his own and because he himself will not finish it but will also pass it on, so to do we as receivers of this torch, continue to run.
We were given the responsibility of guarding the good names of our fathers and grandfathers. That means that we cannot allow their names to be tarnished, smeared and drug through the mud. We were given the responsibility of guarding the historical truth of our ancestors. That means we cannot sit back and submit to historic revisionism and the re-writing of our children’s textbooks and the federal mind programming. Perhaps most importantly, we were commanded to emulate their virtues. Among these, honesty, integrity, brotherhood and behavior befitting gentlemen. We were commanded to perpetuate his principles (a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.) and ideals (a standard of perfection; a principle to be aimed at.). As such, we must fight against an ever increasing onslaught of hate and revisionist thinking. Is this something that the Sons and the daughters of the American Revolution or the Mexican American war must contend with? No. Because their forefathers were on the winning side of history, thus they have the leisure of merely existing as a history and heritage club.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans is so much more than just a heritage organization or a country club composed of people sharing a common heritage. This is an organization aimed at perpetuating a memory, a good name, a way of life, behavior and conduct becoming those who came before us. And we have to fight. This is a war. A war of Orwellian proportions in which the “Ministry of Truth” (minitrue) is constantly at work re-writing history in order to match the narrative of the ruling regime, known as “The Party”. This is an organization who received a charge to continue in a way of life, to continue in a way of thought. To keep alive a near forgotten virtue, to resurrect a cause and to never let its flame go out regardless of oppression and attempts to crush our spirits.
No sir, this is no heritage organization. It is a time capsule, in this capsule is faith, family, gentleman-like conduct, honesty, valor, integrity, brotherly love and patriotism for the South, for the Constitution and love and respect with dignity to those that came before. Our very existence is a promise to our fathers and grandfathers and great grandfathers that so long as we exist, their wishes will be honored and we will allow their dreams to live on in us.