Friday, June 5, 2015

Centennial of South’s Defenders Memorial to be held

The South's Defenders
(McNeese State University Archives)
              Dr. James E. White, Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 19, will be the keynote speaker for the 100th year anniversary of the dedication of the South’s Defender’s Monument at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13, 2015, on the grounds of the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse.
         Born and reared in Houston, Texas, White attended public school and graduated in 1982 from Lamar High School. In 1986, White earned the Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Military Science from the historically black Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University in Prairie View, Texas. From 1986 until 1992, he served in the United States Army as a commissioned officer in the infantry
        White was a teacher and now serves as principal. In 2000, he obtained a Master of Education degree from Prairie View. In 2010 and 2012, respectively, he received a Master of Science and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston.
        White is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, American Legion, the Masonic lodge, the National Rifle Association, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
       The South’s Defenders Monument was originally dedicated June 3, 1915, Confederate Memorial Day in Louisiana, on the courthouse grounds at its current location. More than 12,000 Louisiana Confederate soldiers died in the War Between the States, 1861-65, more than all other American wars combined. About 1,000 Confederate veterans are believed to be buried in Southwest Louisiana cemeteries.
       The monument was dedicated June 3, 1915, during the 50th anniversary year of the War Between the States. Presiding at the ceremony was Lake Charles Mayor George Riling and many other dignitaries were present. 

Tex. State Rep. Dr. James E. White
Keynote Speaker

       Union as well as Confederate veterans were present at the ceremony as a sign of peace and reconciliation between North and South at a time the U.S. needed to come together as World War I was looming in Europe.
       It rests on the front lawn of the classically designed Calcasieu Parish Courthouse in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
       The monument consists of three integral parts: the statue; an ornate marble column and a five-tiered marble base adorned with decorative cannon balls and a marble flower vase.

       Confederate veterans were  also American veterans. The memorial was specially dedicated to the memory of the ordinary Confederate soldiers, who were officially recognized by three acts of the U.S. Congress, in 1906, 1929 and 1957 as military combatants with legal standing who could receive Federal government grave markers and veteran pensions.

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