Monday, September 26, 2011

Opening Ceremonies of the SCV Convention

The Sons of Confederate Veterans Annual Convention and Reunion was held July 13-17, 2011 at the Embassy Suites hotel in downtown Montgomery AL. 
Philip Davis, Commander of the host Montgomery SCV Captain Henry C. Semple Camp opened the convention as master of ceremonies.
The colors were posted by Confederate re-enactors to officially open the convention.
An opening prayer was led by the chaplain. Pledges to the flags of the United States and the Confederate States of America were then stated.  The SCV Charge was also recited. 
Then a representative of the United Daughters of the Confederacy said a few words followed by the President of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Youth organization.
Tonnia Maddox of the Order of Confederate Rose then said a few words.  The OCR is a support organization for the SCV providing ladies to help organize social events and other SCV activities and boasts members in independent chapters throughout the US in a Confederation of State Societies.  She spoke about Leaders, Ethics, Attitude, Passion and Purpose in SCV and OCR goals and activities.
The manager of the Embassy Suites of Montgomery welcomed the convention attendees as did a Montgomery City Councilman.
The 52nd Regimental String Band then led the entire reunion in a rendition of Dixie as re-enactors entered including the Prattville Dragoons own Tyrone Crowley depicting Pres. Jefferson Davis.
Camp Commander Philip Davis then presented the gavel to SCV National Commander in Chief Michael Givens who brought the convention to order. 
The budget was the first order of business and handouts were distributed which provided a summary of the financials. 
A report  was provided on one of the Sons of Confederate Veterans prime projects, Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library, owned and operated by the SCV Mississippi Division.  It will be opening October 2011 followed by a dedication.  It’s mission is to tell the story of Jefferson Davis, to tell the story of the Confederate soldier including Black Confederates and to tell the story of the Cause.  The restoration follows the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.  The facilities will be most impressive including lighted grounds which will project a Confederate Battle Flag into the night sky.  The website is
An equally important project for the SCV is the Oakwood Cemetary in Richmond VA.  The preservation and marking of the twelve thousand Confederate graves at Oakwood with vertical tombstones to replace small numbered markers has long been a mission of the national organization and the Virginia Division.  Budget cuts of and questionable policy shifts enacted by the Veterans Administration has diverted funds earmarked for this project; Senator Webb of Virginia had indicated an agreement was enacted with the federal government for the grave marking at Oakwood.  A plea was made for every SCV member to contact their US Senator and Congressman to fund the continuation of this work to honor the dignity of these Confederate Veterans buried here.   
Commander Michael Givens challenged each camp to create a Media Action Committee to contact government representatives as well as media outlets in regards to initiatives like continued funding for the Oakwood Cemetary project.  Commander Givens maintained that the SCV is the only heritage organization recognizing the Sesquicentennial and that Washington DC knows it and they respect the SCV for their position.

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