Lee-Jackson Day ceremonies peaceful, but cold

Lisa Perry and Elise Hansen

Hobnail boots, hoop skirts, homespun and kepis were the order of the day at a somber, solemn, and peaceful parade honoring confederate generals at the Lee-Jackson Day parade Saturday.

Though crowd numbers were low but enthusiastic , law enforcement presence was high, with patrolmen on foot at every corner throughout downtown Lexington, triple state police escorts ahead of the Lexington patrol car, and a Franklin County special tactical unit trailer slipped in off the beaten path. Plainclothes city officials provided additional security.

“Heritage, not hate,” was the often-repeated theme at the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery just prior to the parade. An honor guard volley and a bugled rendition of “Taps” completed the traditional program.

Various groups of re-enactors, including Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson lookalikes, marched with sons and daughters of confederate organization members, historic infantry and artillery units, dozens of uniformed flag-wavers, and a single cavalryman in 12 mph frigid winds to the tunes “Dixie” and “Garry Owen” played by bagpiper David Hinton, whose ancestors, some Union, some Confederate, fought against each other at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Clad in a Confederate Memorial Tartan kilt to combine several aspects of his heritage, Hinton, of the Virginia Scots Guards Pipes and Drums,  shared his reason for providing music for the event: “You’ve got to know where you came from to know where you’re going.”


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