Sunday, January 29, 2012

SCV Lee-Jackson Memorial Ceremony

Saturday morning 21 January, at the Capitol Confederate Monument, The Alabama Division conducted its annual Lee-Jackson Ceremony.  It was a stormy day and rain was expected, but the rain held off, in accordance with the prayer offered at the beginning by Ala Div Webmaster Mike Williams, until just after the ceremony concluded, then came down in torrents.  The speaker at this ceremony, officiated by Ala Div Commander Robert Reames, was Past Ala Div Commander Ronnie Simmons, who spoke on the tour of the Southland taken by Robert E Lee during the last few months of his life.  The tour was supposed to be a vacation to improve the health of Lee, who was then laboring as the president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, but due to the press of excited, cheering crowds everywhere it went, the glorious tour may have actually shortened Lee's life.  In any case, it gave the people of the Southland a final opportunity to make clear to General Lee and to the world how much they loved and admired this man, considered by some to be the greatest military leader of modern times.  Brendan Young opened the program singing Lee's favorite hymn, "How Firm a Foundation".  He also led the crowd in a rousing rendition of "The Bonnie Blue Flag" and closed the ceremony with the requisite "Dixie".  A reenactment color guard presented colors and also provided a musket salute as part of the program.  Dragoons attending this ceremony were Brigade Commander Bill Myrick, Past Commander Larry Spears, 2nd Lt Cmdr Stuart Waldo, Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley, and Dragoon Danny Smyth, along with his wife and daughter Hannah.  The program provided this synopsis of the life of General Robert E. Lee:
The Alabama Division
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Welcomes you here today as we
Celebrate the birthday of
Robert Edward Lee,
A man of Character and
Great Integrity.
Born at Stratford Hall, Virginia
On January 19, 1807
Henry”Light Horse Harry” Lee III
Anne Hill Carter Lee
Robert E. Lee was a top graduate of West Point
and was an exceptional soldier in the U.S. Army
for thirty-two years. Lee would resign his
commission to follow his home State of Virginia
into the Confederate States of America and
become a beloved General of a new Nation.
Robert E. Lee became President of Washington
University in Lexington, Virginia and died there
on October 12,1870.

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