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Capt. John T. Lesley Camp #1282

Brandon Memorial

Flagpole & Monument Dedication

Confederate Memorial Day (April 26, 1998)

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Our Day in the Sun

Even though Commissioner Thomas Scott snubbed us, and even though our fair weather friend, Commissioner Jan Platt, publicly gave us the boot, and even though Reporter Wayne Washington of the St. Petersburg Times tried to create controversy (and did) by his type of reporting, folks we won the day.  

The 1998 Confederate Memorial and Dedication Service was a splendid success.  Between 300 and 400 people were in attendance and the weather was perfect.  The Florida National Guard had their Honour Detail present and the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Department and the Tampa Police Department both had honourary contingents present.  Even the Girl Scouts of America were represented.

State Representative Tom Lee representing District 23 (Brandon) did a marvelous job "editorializing" about the importance of the event and the day during his brief stint at the microphone.  Co K had approximately 30 soldiers for the rifle salute and the Honour Detail of the Lesley Camp looked the best ever.  The service went on with a glitch.  From the initial march in of the troops and honour guards to the final playing of taps it was perfect.  The John T. Lesley Camp has reached a high level of competency in these types of events.  The provosts were professional in maintaining order. 

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During the reception, while the ladies of Chapter 113 were providing refreshments for the crowd, the sweet music of the 3rd Florida Regimental band was setting the tone of almost a garden party.  And who could miss the impressive presence of the Brandon family.

UDC Members

Jazz Artist, Belinda Womack

Members of the Brandon Family

But their were three aspects of the event which truly shown and set this event apart.  One, was the gutsy, principled, but sublime presence of black jazz singer Belinda Womack.  We could do no less than to give her a dozen red roses.  Two, was the VERY positive press we received following this event. 

From the Tampa Tribune to Channel 13 (Fox) the event was given a very nice spin.  And three, the most lasting aspect of this is the very profound realization that on the very visible major intersection of Highway 60 at Lithia/Pinecrest Rd. there is a cemetery which contains a monument to the South and above it in the early Summer breezes floats the Battle Flag of the Confederacy.  

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