An Open Letter & Open Report / Conversations In the Street / Memorial To Bill Parris
August 10, 2018
Conversations In the Street / Memorial To Bill Parris
Dear Ms. Lunelle,
On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, as I stood on the side of the road of a busy four lane highway leading into Black Mountain, North Carolina with the Southern Cross in hand,; I
noticed two couples from across the street taking pictures of me. After about thirty minutes, they would cross the road and come to where I stood.
Sir, we are confused by what we see. You are an African American standing on the side of the road with the Rebel flag. At the point of entry, we were told that here in
the South that African Americans don’t like the Confederate flag, and that they are responsible for the tearing down of the Confederate soldiers’ monuments.
But, we have been watching other African Americans stop and get out of their cars, run up and hug you with so much glee, honk their car horns. Everybody, said one of the
ladies. It seems like a glorious occasion. And you have that shirt on with two white men on horses. What is the significance of the words, “The Last Meeting?”
I would tell them that it was the Honorable General Robert E. Lee and the Honorable Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, two of the most beloved men in the whole of the South,
and that the shirt was a depiction of their last meeting before General Jackson lost his life in the War for Southern Independence. I would also ask where they were from.
New Zealand came their reply.
We would be joined by several young white men who were shouting out my name with their arms wide open to which I gave a big hug. My New Zealand friends would extend
their hands as they readied to go, but one of the young men would say, “HK takes hugs,” and with smiles all around, I would hug them and present them with my card.
The young men would introduce me to their friend, Pastor Berry from Iowa, who would ask if he could say a prayer for me. And with car horns blaring, folks shouting out
my name, and shouts of the Rebel Yell, this Pastor prayed for my safety, health and strength. It was a great day in Dixie!
On Tuesday, August 8, 2018, don in the uniform of the Southern soldier, at the entrance of the Chapel where the Honorable Bill Parris, the father of the Honorable
James Mike Parris, Camp 1910 Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Jackson Rangers, lie in State for viewing prior to his memorial service, I would, in his esteem
honor, post the Southern Cross. I am sure that Mr. Bill who, like myself, is a member of the Jackson Rangers, would have been proud.
I would return the salute and waves of the hundreds who would enter the grounds, and the many waves of those who passed by and pose for many a picture. It became a day
of love for me. And, I shall never forget the young black man walking by who stopped to shake my hand. The young man said one word to me that my memory fails to remember.
However, I do remember the significance of the meaning……….
“It meant that what I was doing was so properly self respecting and appropriate that it gave great cause for pride to those who saw such a righteous deed, and that it
would embolden others to follow.” I told him that I loved him, and he would reply, and I you as well! God bless you!
Honorary Life Member
Jackson Rangers Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1910