At the annual reunion of the Alabama Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans I sat at the head table looking out at so many of my friends, compatriots and brothers of the South. It occurred to me that we share many commonalities beyond the lone fact that our ancestors all served under the same standard in a war that took place some 150 years ago. We share a common culture, a common tradition, common beliefs, common interests and, deeper than that, a common blood.
There are descendants of veterans from other wars who live today. In fact, there are descendants of every war that America has fought who are alive and among us today. And yet, where organizations exist that represent the veterans of these wars, you still will not find the brotherhood, camaraderie or deeply held convictions and opinions that exist among the descendants of the Southern soldier of 1861 to 1865.
I’ll add another element to this- Among the descendants of American veterans, it is only the posterity of the Southern soldier who is open to attack, scorn and ridicule by the media, politicians, academia, Hollywood and well, anyone. Not only are such assaults allowable, but they are encouraged. And this leads me to my point.
There is another common element that exists among these men who proudly wear Confederate lapel pins, carry and display the flags of their ancestors, and openly proclaim their birthright as the living heirs of all the traditions that their ancestors bequeathed to them. Courage.
In a society that has wrongfully and dishonestly propagandized its youth from birth to view the South as backwards in our thinking, ignorant, uncultured, bigoted and clinging to past defeats, it takes some degree of courage to stand in the face of this and proudly proclaim “I am Southern.” It requires courage to willingly be viewed as an outcast, and to refuse to conform to what the most tyrannical elements of society have determined to be correct.
What motivates this courage? A desire to be different or a rebellious spirit? Hardly. What motivates it is simple: truth. It is truth, and the willingness to take a stand in the defense of truth, that motivates those among us who resist conforming to unprincipled societal norms and clinging to the ideals of a generation who, though defeated in battle, were never defeated in spirit.
It is fealty to the undeniable truth that the cause of the Southern soldier was just, honorable, righteous and in keeping with the legitimate definition of patriotism as handed to him by his forefathers. It was not just the bravery of the Southern soldier on the battlefield that rendered him worthy of our admiration, but it is the justness of his cause, a cause that is still under attack this very day by the forces of political correctness.
And here is the good news: We win. In the end, truth always does win. It cannot be stopped. Jefferson Davis said “truth crushed to the ground is still truth, and like a seed will rise again.” His words were profound and correct. Truth will never be defeated. It cannot be as long as there is even the slightest glimmer of it left in the furthest reaches of human existence. Truth will prevail. Southern posterity will proclaim the truth. That is who we are. We will not back down.