I Find This Despicable
Recently, I read a letter to the editor about how war veterans are being discriminated against. I’m not referring to our present veterans, but instead, veterans who fought in the Civil War, and more specifically Confederate veterans. I find this completely unacceptable that the Confederate battle flag cannot be flown over these graves because the current political climate forbids it. The Confederate battle flag is the flag these veterans fought under. These vets were designated as U.S. veterans years ago, so why aren’t they shown the same respect as veterans who fought in other wars? The letter is as follows:
Veteran Discrimination at Crown Hill Cemetery
In 1931 the War Department had 1,616 Confederate American soldiers removed from Greenlawn Cemetery to Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana. These soldiers represent nearly all of the Confederate States of America. In this relocation, the Confederate American soldiers were buried not individually but rather in a “mass grave.” These soldiers died as prisoners of war in Indianapolis at Camp Morton.
April of each year the Sons of Confederate Veterans honor these American veterans with a public ceremony and wreath placement. In past years the grave site was decorated with Confederate American flags (the American flags under which these veterans served and died). This year the Indiana Division Sons of Confederate Veterans are prohibited by the Cemetery from the display of the Confederate American Flag or any other Confederate American symbol.
In our opinion there should be equal rights for all American veterans. Confederate American veterans have been recognized by Congress as “American Veterans” and should have all rights and honors consistent to their service — including the display the American flag under which they served and died. To deny this right is discrimination. In this age, it is important that we all coexist without discrimination and bigotry.
We therefore call upon Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana to allow all American veterans to be honored with the proper placement of the American flags and symbols under which they served and died.
If you agree that there should be equal rights for all American veterans, perhaps you could write a strong but polite note to the cemetery and ask that they allow equal rights for all veterans — which includes the prominent placement of the colors under which they served and died. The cemetery address is:
Crown Hill Cemetery
700 West 38th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Ray L. Parker
Sons of Confederate Veterans
(Courtesy Southern Heritage News & Views, 3-28-16 ed.)