Those dignitaries seated on stage included the SCV Army Department Commanders, the SCV General Executive Committee members, as well as Mr. Hayes-Davis and the Chairman of the Board of Beauvoir Rick Forte. A greeting to all in attendance was followed by recognition of the Divisions represented at the Heritage Rally accompanied by spirited cheers by each state called by order of secession. A gun and cannon salute was also sounded during this roll call with the smoke from the cannon fire rolling off the back lawn of Beauvoir.
Army Commanders Earnest (Northern Virginia), Strain (Tennessee), and Owens (Trans-Mississippi) addressed the gathered crowd followed by speeches by Adjutant in Chief Steve Ritchie, Lt. Commander Kelly Barrow and Commander in Chief Michael Givens. They challenged everyone to take their defense of our Confederate heritage outside their homes including participation in events such as the Confederate Heritage Rallies and Sesquicentennial events. Commander Givens stressed that the War for Southern Independence was a defining moment in our national history in an eloquent presentation of the Cause.
Executive Director Bertram Hayes-Davis as the keynote speaker welcomed everyone to Beauvoir and the dedication of the beautiful new Presidential Library. He said that he is fortunate to be uniquely qualified as a descendant of Jefferson Davis to bring the family's perspective to the quest for recognition of Beauvoir and fund raising for continued improvements to Beauvoir. He indicated he had made an effort to extensively study the history of his great great grandfather and his times to the extent that he claimed to have traveled to every country, state and location Jefferson Davis did during his lifetime. He said the Presidential Library and museum represent a tremendous public educational opportunity to share Southern heritage and the true history of the Southern people and the Cause.
Following the rally, the museum which is the home of Jefferson Davis as well as the new Library were opened for walk through tours. The library was just recently finished and had yet to be stocked with the Confederate soldier and Jefferson Davis exhibits for which large rooms were assigned and the book collection for the library was also in storage. By June of 2013 most of these books and artifacts will begin to fill the library rooms and an official Grand Opening is tentatively scheduled. The library is of a modern design with high ceilings and open spaces, beautiful wood all accents and large windows which contributed to the grandiose impression. Over the next couple of years, the grounds are to be finished to even include Verina Davis rose gardens and other improvements which will certainly make Beauvoir a destination to attract more people to provide this unique Southern heritage educational charter.
|Crowd at the Confederate Heritage Rally at Beauvoir|