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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: Jonesborough assures SLRC Confederate memorial bricks will be issued

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jonesborough assures SLRC Confederate memorial bricks will be issued

JONESBOROUGH, TN – An administrator with the Town of Jonesborough told the SLRC today that the town fully intends to install bricks honoring Confederate soldiers at a public memorial site, as soon as a delay in production is resolved.

Jonesborough Town Recorder Abbey Miller said so far she has about 30 bricks, representing both Confederate and other American war veterans, on back order. “The stone mason who inscribes them has cancer and has had to curtail his work time, and this has caused a delay,” she said. The town expects the orders will be caught up by early August, and donors who have already purchased bricks have been informed accordingly, she said.

The granite bricks, each hand inscribed with the name of a veteran and purchased by private individuals, are being used to pave a section of Jonesborough’s Veterans’ Park. In May the SLRC was contacted by several citizens who had attempted to purchase bricks honoring their Confederate ancestors, only to have their applications refused on grounds that the memorial was to honor only “American” veterans and that Confederates did not qualify. The SLRC in turn wrote to the Mayor of Jonesborough warning the town of the possible consequences of such discriminatory action. The town then reversed its stance and announced that donations for Confederate bricks would be accepted.

A few days later the SLRC received reports that some donors had had their checks returned with a letter advising that orders were being deferred until August. Ms. Miller told the SLRC that this was done as a courtesy to the donors “so they just wouldn’t have these checks outstanding for several weeks while we get caught up.” She said that some donors have instructed her office to hold their checks anyway for as long as necessary, and that this has been done. “Those checks are in my safe in a special file,” she said. “They [additional donors] can still go ahead and send in their applications and we will accept them, we just want them to know about the delay,” she added.

“We will keep them informed by letter about the progress, and we will also post it on our website,” she added.

SLRC issues urgent appeal for donations

Summertime, and the livin’ ain’t easy. Not around here, anyway.

For nonprofits, who depend on contributions for their very existence, there are two wretched times of year: right after Christmas, when everybody feels spent out, and summer, when folks are using their discretionary income for traveling and other vacation-related activities. The SLRC’s donations cycle is no exception to this rule; in January it plummets like a thermometer on Mount Mitchell; in the summer it gets as flat as low tide at Myrtle Beach.

And that’s just in an ordinary year. But this year the country’s in the midst of the worst economic downturn in decades, when a lot of folks have shelved the whole idea of taking a vacation and are just trying to make ends meet. Consequently the SLRC’s income has suffered even more than usual. (We haven’t been able to put out the hard copy version of our newsletter, “The Update”, since April because we just can’t afford the printing and postage. That puts us in a Catch-22 because the Update is one of our primary fundraising tools.)

So, in this time of prioritizing personal expenditures, we offer a humble plea for you to prioritize the SLRC. Remember: there is no such thing, to us, as a small contribution; anything you can afford will help us live to fight another day.

# # # # #

If you have a stake in Southern heritage and culture, and are looking for a meaningful way to honor and protect them, please give generously to the Southern Legal Resource Center. With your help we can continue our aggressive efforts to secure the rights of all Southerners to express pride in their regional identity without fear of ridicule or reprisal, as should be the case for all Americans.

The Southern Legal Resource Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and contributions to it are fully tax deductible. Credit card and PayPal donations may be made at our website by clicking on “How You Can Help.” Checks payable to the Southern Legal Resource Center should be mailed to P.O. Box 1235, Black Mountain, NC 28711. “Thumbs Up for Dixie” stickers are available for SLRC and local heritage fundraising projects. Contact Betty Tate for details at, or by phone at (828) 669-5189.


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