The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Excelsior Springs Standard.
After being invited and accepting attendance at the 2018 Waterfest, Hughes Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans was denied a booth for the 2019 event. The SCV is the nation’s oldest veteran's heritage organization founded in 1896. Confederate Veterans are recognized by Act of Congress as United States Veterans per U.S. Public Law 85-425 and entitled to the same benefits granted other U.S. Veterans. Local SCV Camps are set up just like VFW and American Legion Posts. The SCV exists to promote and protect the heritage of the Confederate Veterans, who were white, black, brown and red in racial makeup. They also teach the truth about what they fought for.
Hughes Camp has many area members and has participated in many festivals and events throughout the area for years. They have never caused any trouble or discriminated against anyone. Their booth is often one of the most attended booths at some festivals.
At the Hughes Camp booth, we have always welcomed respectful conversation and sharing the history of our Missouri Confederate Veterans. One of the primary goals for our booth is the meeting and recruitment of potential new members, of any race or ethnicity whose ancestors served in the Confederate Military.
It is a shame that Excelsior Springs chooses to discriminate against one of our area veterans’ heritage groups, especially at a festival purported to celebrate area history and culture. As a Hughes Camp member, I hope they will reconsider and invite us back another time.