Lee-Jackson Day celebrated in Lexington with memorial program and parade
LEXINGTON, Va. (WSET) -- Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have been at the height of controversies - many speaking out stating they want statues of them taken down.
But Saturday those generals were honored with a parade and memorial program for the state holiday Lee-Jackson Day in Lexington.
" We are about the life and legacy of Lee and Jackson and their character, Stonewall Brigade-Sons of Confederate Veterans member Brandon Dorsey said.
The Stonewall Brigade-Sons of Confederate Veterans have been putting on this parade for nearly two decades - attracting people from across the country.
But Brandon Dorsey with the Brigade said there was some concern this year.
"We knew some people have been concerned because of the things that have happened elsewhere, but we had everything pretty well under control we had a good crowd, probably about 300 folks at the cemetery,” Dorsey said.
Lexington Police and Virginia State Police escorted those involved. They were also set up at the memorial just in case.
"The police were a little proactive this year; had a bigger presence because of things that have happened elsewhere, but we didn’t have any major problems," Dorsey said.
Our ABC 13 crew did not see any protesters at the memorial program or during the parade, but Dorsey said they did have to deal with some issues leading up to Saturday.
“We had our hands full with groups that are off to the left and off to the right, you know, sort of going at each other and you know we’ve tried to make it clear that neither one would be welcome,” he said.
Douglas Sweet and his group, Virginia Task Force III% - Dixie Defenders, from Gloucester-Mathews County was part of the parade.
"If you're a Virginian, It's in your heritage," Sweet said. "It's something that was fought for and people died for."
"If... everyone would do as Martin Luther King Junior suggested and judge people by the content of their character, we wouldn't have these problems there's people that think Lee and Jackson are dishonorable," Dorsey said. "If they would take a look at their character, they would understand that they are honorable men. "