LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – Wednesday marks 150 years since Louisiana's secession from the United States in the days leading up to the Civil War, but the anniversary has gone largely unnoticed.
A group known as the Sons of Confederate Veterans is one of the few groups to actually commemorate the anniversary. The group held a re-enactment of the signing or declaration of the secession at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge earlier this month.
Michael Jones, commander of the Lake Charles chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which is called the Capt. James W. Bryan Camp 1390, believes the state should do more to acknowledge the anniversary.
"You shouldn't ignore history or be embarrassed by it," said Jones. "The history of the state is important and why the state government wants to ignore such an important historical event, I'm not sure."
But not everyone agrees with Jones.
Lake Charles civil rights leader Dr. Nancy Shepard said the secession should not be commemorated as other events would be because of what Louisiana and other southern states stood for at the time, slavery.
"Anything that was derogatory to one nation of people, that's caused pain, I don't think it should be celebrated," said Shepard. "If they want to put it on the calendar for history's sake, that's their business. But a great celebration? I don't see the use of it."
Jones said he would like the state to put together some type of special commission, composed of citizens from different backgrounds, each with a different perspective on this period of the state's history. The goal, Jones said, would be an opportunity to learn more about Louisiana's history.
For more information about the Sons of Confederate Veterans, click here.