Our first night of the candle light vigil/protest of the VMFA's InLight sound/light display at the Confederate Memorial Chapel was, by all accounts, an overwhelming success.We arrived early to take up position in front of the chapel, and throughout the night, had the opportunity to speak to many representatives of the press.
Flaggers held candles and photos of Confederate Veterans from the Old Soldiers' Home.
There were over three dozen flaggers in attendance throughout the evening, many from out of town, and several first-time flaggers, including this gentleman, who carried this 1861 US flag to symbolically represent Union veteran's opposition to the desecration of a war memorial. After all, he told us, what the VMFA is doing is beyond anti-Confederate, it is un-American.
We had planned carefully for a variety of scenarios that might occur, considering the late hour, 1/2 price alcohol being sold on the grounds, and our experience with some local agitators. While there were a few hateful comments, the majority of attendees were cordial. One of our Flaggers filed the following report, which we believe sums up the evening very well:
"The spectacle we anticipated was not evident. A good number of folks questioned us after going in. They experienced what they experienced, but, learned nothing of the significance of the venue and they learned nothing of the history of it from that experience. They learned all that from us...and it is deeply satisfying to engage wondering people in thoughtful conversation...That was the theme of the night for me. And I have to echo some of the previous comments...I'll never know a better group of folks than you."
The Virginia Flaggers will be back out tonight, for the second night of the Sound/Light show, from 7:00 p.m - 10:00 p.m. We invite you to join us, and be a part of those standing for our Veterans...and making sure THEIR voice is heard, in spite of the obvious and ongoing attempt by Museum officials to silence them forever.
P.O. Box 547Sandston VA 23150