From: Virginia Flagger <info@vaflaggers.com>
Date: Mon, Feb 2, 2015
Subject: Va Flaggers: Charlottesville Lee-Jackson Holiday Update

As a group of us prepare to travel to Charlottesville tonight for the public hearing, I wanted to leave you all with an excellent exchange that took place between one of the Councilmen and Mr. Jesse Harrup.  Mr. Harrup has given us permission to share the emails, with a hat tip to SCV Heritage Defense Chief Ben Jones for some of the talking points in his follow-up email.

Vice-Mayor Smith,

I have just learned there will be a public hearing this Monday night in Charlottesville, Virginia, to consider removing the Lee-Jackson holiday as an official holiday in the City.

I am very opposed to what I feel is a basic political “pandering” action.

1)  This holiday honors two AMERICAN VETERANS.  Both men served both the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia.  To deny them the honor and remembrance they deserve is to insult and dishonor ALL  Veterans.

2)   PRECEDENCE:   The holiday is recognized as a state holiday by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a proclamation is issued each year by the Governor, including current Governor, Terry McAuliffe:  https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/proclamations/proclamation/lee-jackson-day/

3)  Any effort  to remove the holiday will only cause division and strife where none existed.  As it is, the holiday is inclusive to all citizens.  This move serves to exclude and discriminate against citizens of Confederate ancestry. 

Please keep this holiday recognized for these reasons.

Thank you.

V/r,

JESSE L. HARRUP, JR.

From: Dede Smith

[mailto:dede.virginia@gmail.com] Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2015 7:33 PM
To: Jesse L. Harrup, Jr
Subject: Re: Lee-Jackson Day

Thank you for your email.

Here in Charlottesville, we have beautiful statues of both Lee and Jackson, placed in the center of respective parks named Lee Park and Jackson Park.

Honoring their role in Southern history is not at risk here. That said, it’s not clear what the purpose of his one day is anymore.

Perhaps you can help me understand.

What do you and/or the jurisdiction where you live, do to celebrate Lee-Jackson Day?

Thank you for your concern,

Dede Smith
Charlottesville City Council

Ms. Smith,

Thank you for your timely response; it is both appreciated, as well as a pleasant surprise, to actually hear from someone at your high level of city government.

My city (Colonial Heights) has Lee-Jackson Day as an official city holiday. It is recognized with city employees at the Violet Bank Museum (Lee’s HQ) providing historical presentations and discussions with citizens who attend, about Gens. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jacksons’ life and war heroics in defending the Commonwealth of Virginia.

As to helping you understand the purpose of this day, I would first say that it is the same purpose that the city of Charlottesville would have for any city holiday honoring any individual. In Charlottesville, I note that the city honors the following three (3) individuals with a holiday:

1. Robert E. Lee/Stonewall Jackson,

2. Martin Luther King, and

3. Thomas Jefferson.

If you were to vote on eliminating an individual holiday, of these three, it seems logical, (at least from a historical accuracy perspective), that you would eliminate the one individual that was not even a Virginia citizen.???

To me, this proposed city action just adds to the many attacks on the honored heritage and history of the men who carried that fight for, not only the Southern cause, but Virginia’s cause as well.

I was hoping that this year, (being the last year of the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States) might be the year when the divisive demagoguery of "political correctness" is exposed as the idiocy that it is and becomes a thing of the past, remembered only as a sad and silly period when decisions were made by an odd and distorted view of relationships, sensibilities, and common sense. That this be the year when we begin to judge people by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.

That this be the year when the 70 million American descendants of those who fought for the Confederacy proudly stand up and be counted; I consider my request to you as so doing. That when bigots use the beloved symbols (including holidays, flags, statues, etc) of our courageous ancestors to spread a gospel of racial hatred and superiority be exposed as the fools they are (not that I place you in that last category by no means).

That this be the year when we counter-attack demagogues (again not you in my opinion) who wish to destroy more of our Confederate heritage (and to me, eliminating Lee-Jackson Day falls into this category). That this be the year when our statues, monuments and gravestones are not attacked by vandals of every stripe, and when our flags fly more than ever in places of deserved honor.

That this be the year when the national media stops portraying our ancestors as "traitors" and portraying us as "Nazis", "white supremacists" and "racists". May this be the year when they recognize their own sanctimonious posturing and when they realize the stupidity of anyone assuming a moral superiority in matters of the heart.

That this be the year when the Sons of Confederate Veterans (of whom I am both a member and past officer) lead a victorious struggle for an honest modern understanding of the extraordinary and exemplary courage of our honored and beloved ancestors. May this be the year when we stand fearlessly together against the orchestrated smear campaign of those who would "culturally cleanse" the nation of any positive thought of our forefathers. Eliminating Lee-Jackson Day strikes me as a first  action (or tip of the spear) toward that end.

Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the million men who left home and hearth to follow him are certainly worthy of keeping as a city holiday. The Commonwealth of Virginia certainly believes so thru its continued recognition with a holiday for these two Virginians. I hope you realize that the men of the Confederacy were thoroughly American, and that they were of many ancestries and races and creeds, and that they did what they did in their time because their forefathers had done the same.

I hope this helps you understand better the purpose of maintain this holiday in the city of Charlottesville than that which I provided in my earlier email.

V/r,

JESSE L. HARRUP, JR.
 
The Virginia Flaggers salute Jesse Harrup for his steadfast support and continuing efforts to defend our heritage and the honor of our Confederate ancestors and offer our sincere thanks for his communications with Charlottesville City Council, and for sharing the emails with us.

Our original email, with contact information is included below.

We will follow up tomorrow with a report on the public hearing.

Susan Hathaway
Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

Original email:

Back in Virginia, we have just learned that there will be a public hearing this Monday night in Charlottesville, Virginia, to consider removing the Lee-Jackson holiday as an official holiday in the City.

http://www.newsplex.com/home/headlines/City-Council-to-Consider-Lee-Jackson-Day-290018861.html

City Councilor Kristin Szakos has long made the argument to City Council that the holiday should not an official city holiday.

"If people want to celebrate Lee and Jackson I have no objection to that, but for the city to close City Hall in commemoration of Lee and Jackson? I think a lot of our residents feel that doesn’t represent them. It doesn’t represent me."

If the name sounds familiar to some of you, it may be because Ms. Szakos has a history of a strong Anti-Confederate agenda, calling for the removal of Confederate statues in the city in a 2012 Forum:

http://www.nbc29.com/story/17240667/szakos-confederate-statues

"Charlottesville City Counselor Kristin Szakos says it’s time for a discussion about what Charlottesville’s historic Confederate statues are saying about this community. One of the options she’s proposing is pulling Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson down off of their stone perches."

Time is not our side in this one, but we believe that City Council at least needs to hear from as many people as possible between now and Monday.

Please take a moment to call or send an email asking them NOT to remove the Lee-Jackson Holiday from the City Calendar.

We suggest considering including the following talking points in any communications:

1)  This holiday honors two AMERICAN VETERANS.  Both men served both the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia.  To deny them the honor and remembrance they deserve is to insult and dishonor ALL  Veterans.

2)   PRECEDENCE:   The holiday is recognized as a state holiday by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a proclamation is issued each year by the Governor, including current Governor, Terry McAullife:  https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/proclamations/proclamation/lee-jackson-day/

3)  Any effort  to remove the holiday will only cause division and strife where none existed.  As it is, the holiday is inclusive to all citizens.  This move serves to exclude and discriminate against citizens of Confederate ancestry. 

Contact Information:

Mayor Satyendra Singh Huja
huja1@comcast.net
(434) 977-5094 (H)
(434) 981-8948 (C)

Vice Mayor Dede Smith
dsmith@charlottesville.org
(434) 882-2933 ©

Kristin Szakos
k.szakos@embarqmail.com
(434) 987-1042 (C)

Kathy Galvin
kgalvin@charlottesville.org
(434) 249-6404 (C)

Bob Fenwick
bfenwick@charlottesville.org
(434) 249-3406 (C)

To contact all the City Councilors with a question or comment CLICK HERE.
To contact Paige Rice, Clerk of Council, call 434-970-3113 or CLICK HERE.

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 911, City Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22902

http://www.charlottesville.org/Index.aspx?page=93 

The meeting Monday night, February 2nd begins at 7:00 p.m. Agenda attached.  We contacted the Clerk of Council and were told that the public is allowed to comment and that anyone wishing to speak needs to sign up before the meeting, beginning at 6:30.  Even if you do not wish to speak, having a good presence in the meeting will send a strong signal to the City Council, so please make an effort to attend if you live within driving distance and encourage others to do so.