A memorial to the unknown slaves of Valdosta, in recognition of their sacrifices and contributions to our community.
Exodus XXI V
And he that stealeth a man and selleth him or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death
Here is a free speech blog about the memorial:
Valldosta Slave Monument, and Why our News Media Ignored American Veterans at this event?
Submitted by gbrhynes007-2 on Fri, 2007-02-23 21:21
On November 11th, the Sons and Daughters of the United States Colored Troops (Occupational Force of Valdosta of 1865-1866) Robert Wade Chapter 21st Georgia Veterans Day Program was held at Sunset Hill Cemetery at the Unknown Slave Monument in Valdosta Georgia. Rev. W.F Wade along with The Sons and Daughters of the U.S. Colored Troops organized the event. I was very much impressed with the ceremony honoring American Veterans.
However, I was extremely disappointed that not one elected official attended this public event on behalf of American Veterans. Rev Wade gave a speech fit for the nation and perhaps the world. He was dressed in a Federal Uniform of the United States Colored Troops stationed in Valdosta and Lowndes County.
Rev Wade asked serious questions and I gathered a few from his speech: “This is a great occasion. This is a historical monument and we all should be proud. But how long can our city and county officials hide their faces and fail to recognize these Black Soldiers who died for this community, state, and nation. You cannot hide your faces from the records and never will I hide my face from the records.
Let the Black Councilmen in particular hide their faces from these brave honored dead. But one day they will have to come out here to see others buried. They cannot bury their head. I am proud to be a part of this time capsule in honoring our beloved Black Heroes and patriots.
Valdosta hid this from the people about these occupying Black Forces who served this community. They did not want this history told. They thought they had buried this knowledge beneath the rubbish pile of time and other monuments. But it was a Captain Andrew Leonard a White Officer who said from the Lowndes County Court House.”
“There will come a new time when all these good things they died for, for freedom. They will enjoy as all Georgian now enjoy. Therefore the sons and daughters of former slaves must work together. We all must learn to live together. There is still a battle line and two many of us are not trust worthy to hold the line of right and righteousness.”
Rev Wade continued. “I want the church to take an active part in helping our people and use some of the money they have in these banks drawing interests. I want them to draw up some interest in the Black community. As Capt Leonard said”
“We must love everybody! To the white confederates sitting over there. I don't want to condemn anybody. But the historical truth must be told so we all can move forward.”
“The key is study, research the records and you will find the secrets that have never been told to the ordinary white people---let alone the Black People of this community. True love will overcome all racial hatred. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
We all must realize that you and I all come last. We come last. The preachers come last. There are kids in our school systems that don’t have cloths to wear. We buy cloths for them not used cloths. But we buy new cloths for them through our organization. We can and must do things for ourselves.
Leave these elected officials who have left home. They speak kind words during election times and then turn away when we need them the most. Where are our elected representatives today? Why are they not here?
So let me close by saying. That love is the key to the success of our community. This monument is for our children and future generation of children who will want to know the truth. This memorial is a living testimony for generations to come. Now I’ll take my seat but there is much more that needs to be said and done. I thank you all for coming.”
I was deeply humbled by Rev. Wade message and joined the organization as a sign of unification. It is good when we can align ourselves with all who seek to serve our community, state, nation, and world. It was a day in which the media and all American Veterans should be proud.
GEORGE BOSTON RHYNES
President, Valdosta-Lowndes County Branch NAACP
Retired Air Force Veteran (Active Duty)
A concerned citizen and Brother of humanity
P.S. This is an opinion column that could have been avoided had the South Georgia Media covered and reported to the people of Valdosta, Lowndes County and beyond, as Paul Harvey would say “The Rest of the Story Concerning American Veterans.”