Mayor Elrod, City Manager Simon, City Council,
Please consider this a formal request for a change in our parade permit. Our sole purpose in requesting a parade permit for Monday, January 16th was to expose the true intentions of the C.A.R.E. Rockbridge group. By refusing our offer to switch the dates and allow our parades to be held on the corresponding holidays, they have confirmed that their parade was never intended to honor Martin Luther King, but was instead a stunt designed solely to disrupt the peaceful memorial observances of Lee-Jackson Day that have taken place in Lexington for decades.
Unlike that organization, we have no desire or intent to disrupt the memorial and remembrance services by hosting a parade to honor anyone other than those for whom the day is set aside. A Saturday afternoon parade would allow us to honor Lee & Jackson on the day traditionally set aside for such remembrances, and prevent any disruptions on the MLK holiday on the following Monday.
With our mission accomplished and the C.A.R.E. group’s true purpose exposed to the public, we would like to request to reschedule our parade for Saturday, January 14th at 3:00 p.m. The route, and all other details will remain the same, although we expect the numbers participating to grow, based on the communications we have received.
This spiteful action by C.A.R.E. Rockbridge received national attention, and has elicited an immediate and overwhelming response from the heritage community. We have been contacted by numerous groups who are planning on traveling to Lexington for the weekend, many for the first time, and we expect attendance to surpass that of previous years. In addition, local citizens have contacted us to offer support and help with planning events, and we are thrilled to have received new offers of land in Lexington for additional roadside Memorial Battle Flags, all in direct response to C.A.R.E.'s antics.
We look forward to working with city officials to ensure the safety of the Lee-Jackson Day participants, considering the explosive atmosphere that has been created by C.A.R.E. Rockbridge’s deliberate attempts to disrupt our otherwise peaceful commemorations.
Lexington has not seen two finer men since Lee and Jackson. They deserve the respect of those given the privilege of caring for their remains. The immortal and honorable legacy of Lee & Jackson will remain long after those trying to destroy the history and heritage of Lexington leave this earth.
The Virginia Flaggers