Virginia Governor James S. Gilmore
Virginia Governor James S. Gilmore


By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:


WHEREAS, it was during the month of April that the people of the Confederate States of America began at Fort Sumter, South Carolina and ended at Appomattox, Virginia a four-year tragic, heroic and determined struggle for deeply held beliefs; and

WHEREAS, Virginia has long recognized her Confederate history, the officers and enlisted men of the Army and Navy and those at home who made sacrifices on behalf of their families, homes, communities, Virginia and country; and that it is just and right to do so and

WHEREAS, the noble spirit and inspiring leadership of great Confederate Generals, leaders, and the ordinary men and women, free and not free, of the Confederate States is an integral part of the history of all America; and

WHEREAS, upon the conclusion of the war, many of these same leaders and citizens worked tirelessly to reunite and rebuild this country and forge reconciliation; and

WHEREAS, our recognition of Confederate history also recognizes that slavery was one of the causes of the war; and

WHEREAS, slavery was a practice that deprived African-Americans of their God-given inalienable rights, which degraded the human spirit, is abhorred and condemned by Virginians, and was ended by this war; and

WHEREAS, the numerous battlefields, monuments, museums, and other historical sites to be found in Virginia allow our citizens, and indeed the people from all over the world, to remember, study and appreciate the men and women of that unique time in history of our Commonwealth and nation; and

WHEREAS, Virginia is proud and pleased to recognize and celebrate all those who fought and sacrificed in this great struggle that divided families, the nation, and our Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the knowledge of the role of the Confederate States of America in the history of our nation and our Commonwealth is vital to understanding who we are and what we are; and

WHEREAS, we honor our past and draw from it the courage, strength and wisdom to reconcile ourselves, and go forward into the future together as Virginians and Americans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, James S. Gilmore, III, do hereby recognize April 1999 as CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.

James S. Gilmore

We are pleased that Governor Gilmore has chosen to once again proclaim April as Confederate History Month in Virginia. Given the recent attacks on all things Confederate -- especially in the city that played host to the Confederate government and that is now home to Gilmore himself -- it would have been easy for the Governor to cave in to mounting political pressure and ignore the realities of history. Instead, he has acknowledged that the years 1861 through 1865 were significant not only in the history of the Old Dominion but also in the history of our nation. Setting time aside to reflect on this particular period in our past both enhances our understanding of the struggles of our forebears and gives all citizens of the Commonwealth a keener appreciation of the rights and freedoms they enjoy today.

We applaud the Governor's recognition of those who answered when Virginia called and who sacrificed their fortunes, their homes, and even their lives. They deserve to be honored with a special month of their own.

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