Publish Date: 8/10/2009

Flags of her forefathers

Kahler honored for her work in preserving Confederate heritage

Debbie Bell
The Daily Record

In a ceremony similar to many she had participated in during her life, the late Dinah Kahler was honored Saturday for her work in preserving Confederate heritage.

In Greenwood Pioneer Cemetery, a marker was dedicated to the memory of Kahler, who was a founding member of the Margaret Howell Davis Hayes Chapter 2652 United Daughters of the Confederacy. A historic flag was raised and lowered during the ceremony, before being presented to her daughter, Sondra, and Kahler’s husband, David.

“The flag we will be raising today has a sentimental significance,” said Patti Sedillo, Chapter Recorder of Military Service Awards. “It is commonly referred to as a Battle Flag, and this particular one was used almost 10 years ago, on Sept. 25, 1999, in Brooks County, Georgia, in a ceremony dedicating a CSA marker to honor Pvt. Darius Yates, Company C., 1st Georgia Infantry.”

That soldier was Kahler’s great-great grandfather.

Southern born and raised, Kahler had traced her roots back to the Civil War. Her imagination was captured by her heritage, and she spent many hours in keeping Confederate history alive.

“To be a Daughter of the Confederacy is to place your name on a Roll of Honor to our Confederate heritage, then to be worthy of that heritage,” said Laurie Weitzel, Chapter President. “Such memories thrill our heart to that day.”

Weitzel said Confederate forefathers fought with valor unequalled in the annals of history.

“This principle, Love of God, Love of Country, will never die unless we who are alive today permit it to die,” she said. “No cause in the history of mankind ever evoked such sacrifice and patriotism as ours.”

Kahler had participated in many Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day ceremonies at the cemetery.

“Our part in these ceremonies is to scatter a little soil from each veteran’s home state over the Confederate graves in this section,” Sedillo said. “Dinah always enjoyed participating in this ceremony.”

When the marker honoring Kahler was placed, her husband buried some of her ashes in the ground beneath it.

“The soil that we will be scattering around the marker today is soil that Dave brought back from Camilla and Pavo, Georgia,” Sedillo said, “soil from around the very roots of Dinah’s family tree.”

A Confederate flag was placed next to the honorary marker in memory of Christopher Columbus Shelley, Company E, Alabama Infantry, on whose Confederate service Kahler joined the UDC.

“With grateful hearts and with just pride, we acknowledge her service to the UDC,” Weitzel said. “It is a special privilege to dedicate this marker to her memory.”

Sons of Confederate Veterans provided the Confederate First National, Georgia and Alabama flags for the ceremony.

Kahler’s husband claimed to be a Yankee who nevertheless supported Kahler in her Confederate endeavors.

“Dinah has traced her roots and was a Southern girl all her life,” David said. “She never did forget that. She participated in this kind of ceremony many times for others, and certainly would be honored to be memorialized with this significant honor.”

Kahler died unexpectedly Sept. 19, 2008.

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