J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “Military Order of the Stars and Bars”

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. Although the holiday has been celebrated since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, it didn’t become a nationally observed holiday until 1863. The last Thursday of November was proclaimed a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863, thus commemorating “a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” It took nearly a century before some cities in the South, such as Vicksburg, Mississippi, finally acknowledged the holiday.

Only a week earlier, on November 19, 1863, President Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg to dedicate a national cemetery that was being established to bury Union soldiers who had met their demise there. After delivering his famous Gettysburg Address, which he considered to be “a few appropriate remarks,” he was overheard saying, “I failed, I failed, and that is about all that can be said about it.” This was because of the poor reception he received following his speech, but little did he know that his words would become one of the most famous addresses in American history.

With that, let us all give thanks for what we are blessed with. Sometimes it is difficult to perceive the blessings we receive, just as Mr. Lincoln failed to perceive the potency of his words at the time. Many have friends and/or family who are dealing with the loss of loved ones or other critical situations in their lives. During this holiday season, please pray for them, as well as our military personnel.

John Esten Cooke Award

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Last year, my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, won the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award. This is a special honor bestowed to novels about the Civil War that discuss the Southern perspective. It is given by the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, a prestigious organization that was founded after the war by Confederate officers. Over the years, many books have received this award. However, it is not awarded annually, which makes it that much more special.

Out of curiosity, I checked the MOSB website to see who won this year. I don’t believe anyone did, since nothing is listed for 2014. However, I did discover a very nice picture that the MOSB posted of me receiving my award last year. Here is the link:

http://www.militaryorderofthestarsandbars.org/john-esten-cooke-fiction-award-2012/

Please show your support by posting a review on Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble’s websites. I sincerely appreciate your ongoing support, and I hope you will continue to read. Thank you.

No More Ole Miss? Shameful!

Here’s the latest slap in the face for those who cherish their Confederate heritage. The University of Mississippi is planning to make even more changes to their campus. A few years ago, the university dropped “Colonel Reb” as their mascot. (And what is the new one again? No one seems to remember or care.) According to USA Today, a new Vice Chancellor for Diversity will be named. The main road through campus, Confederate Avenue, is slated to have its name changed to Chapel Lane. And plaques will also be placed on Confederate monuments, which will state the historical significance of the statues. According to Chancellor Dan Jones, these are “racially divisive sites,” and he intends to “add modern context to their symbolism.”

Not only that: the name of the school, Ole Miss, will be phased out as well. According to Jones, there will be a defined shift in the common use of the nickname “Ole Miss” to closer identify with sports and school spirit. “Some faculty are uncomfortable with (the term “Ole Miss”) — either because they see it as a nickname or because they believe it has racial overtones,” said Jones. 

According to Grayson Jennings of the SCV Virginia Flaggers, “Ed Ayers, with whom Waite Rawls (of the museum formerly known as the Museum of the Confederacy) has worked closely over the last several years, and Christie Coleman, who runs the American Civil War Center at Tredegar, to whom Rawls sold out our museum, were named among those influential in helping Chancellor Jones to construct this program to eradicate our [Confederate] history and dishonor our Veterans. 

“Mr. Rawls remains a member in good standing of the Virginia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans… while our Confederate treasures, so lovingly donated and collected ‘in eternal memory’ of our Confederate ancestors, are now subject to the same revisionist ‘modern interpretation’ that is already found at Tredegar, and is soon to be nailed to our Confederate monuments and markers on the campus of the University of Mississippi.”

Jones also said, “It is my hope that the steps outlined here – reflecting the hard work of university committees and our consultants – will prove valuable in making us a stronger and healthier university, bringing us closer to our goal of being a warm and welcoming place for every person every day, regardless of race, religious preference, country of origin, ability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or gender expression.” 

How is it warm and welcoming to those whose ancestors fought and died for their homelands? Some are even buried there, right on campus! What about how it offends us? I, for one, am appalled at this never ending assault on our heritage. It is unacceptable to appease one group of individuals by attempting to be politically correct without taking into account the thousands who it offends by erasing history. These attacks must stop. The Sons of Confederate Veterans are doing their best to fight off these attacks, but other groups need to get on board, like historical groups, heritage groups, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, the Confederate Rose, etc. If we don’t stand up and start making noise about this, like the people who are achieving success in defaming these historic sites and symbols, it won’t end until they’re all gone.

For more info, check out:

http://hottytoddy.com/2014/08/01/chancellor-jones-announces-plan-for-leadership-on-race-issues-and-diversity/

Mississippi State Flag Banned

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Last week, The Los Angeles Times ran a story about a group of attorneys, who announced that they are calling for the removal of the Mississippi state flag from the display at Santa Ana’s Civic Center in Orange County, California. They say that the flag with the “Confederate design symbolizes racism and hatred.” In a statement, the Newport Beach-based Orange County Bar Association remarked that the flag, featuring the Confederate Southern Cross, is a symbol “inextricably linked to a legacy of racism, exclusion, oppression and violence.”

The association passed a resolution to remove the flag from Santa Ana’s Plaza of the Flags, which now features flags from all fifty states. “I am proud of the board of directors for passing this important resolution on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address,” Orange County Bar Association President Wayne Gross said in a statement. According to Gross, the Mississippi flag “has no place in or around courthouses.”

The association tried in 1997 to ban flags, specifically those of Mississippi and Georgia, but were unsuccessful. Since then, Georgia has changed its state flag. Mississippi is the only state left which features the Southern Cross in its design.

For Orange County to take such a step, whether they realize it or not, is discrimination. In 2001, the state of Mississippi voted to keep the design. In fact, two-thirds of the state’s residents chose to keep the Southern Cross. If it doesn’t offend Mississippi voters, who are primarily black, what is the problem with Orange County?

With so many problems surfacing in California over the past decade, why is this even an issue? Don’t they have more important things to worry about? This is similar to the problem that the City of Memphis has been dealing with over the past year. It seems that both cities need to get their priorities straight.

To me, this is yet another blatant example of ignorance on the part of lawmakers and politicians. If they studied their history, they would know that the Confederate flag DOES NOT represent “racism, hatred, exclusion, oppression, and violence.” The Confederate flag represents Southern heritage and pride. One hate group, the Ku Klux Klan, decided to claim the Confederate flag as their own, without permission from such honorable groups as the Sons of Confederate Veterans or the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. It is shameful to associate the KKK with the Confederacy as a whole. The KKK has also used the American flag, which flew over numerous slave ships. Should this, too, be banned?

There comes a point when political correctness has gone too far. This is just another example. If one state’s flag is denied, then various reasons will eventually surface to ban other state’s flags as well. We must not allow this kind of narrow-mindedness to prevail.

(And BTW Mr. Gross, the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address was last November.)

For more information, please visit:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-mississippi-flag-orange-county-civic-center-20131231,0,6800466.story#axzz2pk6g4GWO

It’s a Winner!

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I would like to announce that my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, has just been chosen to receive the 2013 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award! This award is given by the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. It is a very distinguished honor, and only one book is chosen annually. 

To receive this prestigious award is like a dream come true for me. I can’t express how grateful I am to the Literary Committee for bestowing this honor upon me. I’d like to extend my sincere thanks for choosing my novel for this award.

And thank you very much, everyone, for believing in my book. I couldn’t have done it without all of your support and guidance.

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