Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cmdr. Hiter's Bardstown Welcome/Report

From the 2009 Kentucky division reunion program:

Kentucky Division
Sons of Confederate Veterans
2009 Reunion at Bardstown, Kentucky 26-28 June, 2009

First, let me welcome you to this 2009 Reunion of the Kentucky division, Sons of Confederate Veterans. It's been one heck of a year!

Since we last met, in Fairview, we've endured, in the west and up the Ohio river, a hurricane (yep, measured wind speed and all - an inland hurricane!) that knocked out all power and much else as well; across the west and central part of the Commonwealth we had an ice storm of historic propoortions, again knocking out power and communication for several weeks and causing clean-up efforts that are still ongoing; and in the east, we saw rains and flooding of similarly historic proportions, wreaking havoc all up and down our mountain counties. To top it off, the national financial markets seem to have tanked, causing economic dissarray that we are only now beginning to realize. Add to that a couple of ongoing wars, an extremely divisive national election and some serious health issues for a number of people (not the least of which was a heart attack by our Division Lieutenant Commander!), and you have a recipe for confusion, to say the least.
On the other hand, we've survived it. Our numbers are down a bit, but they'll improve, as everything else does. We've come through this past year with several very positive accomplishments, and without any serious loss of Camps. Indeed, we have re-started an old but dying one, and we're working on at least one new one.

Shortly after this year began, Compatriot Bazz Childress took a firm stand concerning our battle flag in Concord, North Carolina. It got him arrested. He, and we, fought in the local courts of that state, and won. Now he (and we) are following up with civil action against the hotel that started it all. Our Vicksburg Monument, after more than 10 years of hard and sometimes frustrating work, is erected and it's beautiful. A few more details have to be worked out, but we should be able to dedicate it sometime this Fall. And, speaking of decades-long effort, the Tilghman House Museum, the home of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman, is now firmly in SCV hands, along with the adjacent parking lot. It's all paid for, and it's ours.

So, it's been a full year for all of us, and overall, it's been a good one. We've marched in parades (except one in Ironton, Ohio, where they thought to deny the 5th KY Infantry Camp an opportunity to honor their charge - more about THAT, later); we've marked graves and held dedications; we had Confederate History Month proclamations signed all across the Commonwealth - more than ever before. We still haven't put up a mega-flag, but we will, and we still haven't grown to anywhere near the number of members or Camps that I know we can grow to, but we will.

Let's take these couple of days in Bardstown to rest a bit, and enjoy the history of this place. We must not forget that "My Old Kentucky Home" was written right across the street from where we're meeting. In many ways, this is all of our Kentucky homes. thanks to Compatriot Bill Hayes and the men of the John Hunt Morgan Camp for putting it together for us.

Deo Vindice
Thomas Y. Hiter Ph. D.
The Kentucky Division

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