WilCo Sheriff Chody calls out Austin Mayor Adler for skipping Veterans Day Parade
After Austin Mayor Steve Adler said he was not going to march in Saturday's Memorial Day Parade because of groups marching with the Confederate Flag, one local leader called him out on social media.
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody tweeted his disappointment and disagreement with Adler's choice.
"He can say he honors veterans all he wants, but he didn't show up to the parade that honors our veterans, and that's the issue I have at hand," Chody said.
Adler says he has not seen Chody's tweet, but heard about it, and understands his opinion, but he still cannot march in a parage with a symbol he disagrees with.
"I'd be marching tomorrow if there wasn't Confederate flags," Adler said. "I didn't feel comfortable marching in a parade that had a Confederate flag."
Chody, a veteran himself, says the actions of a few should not shape Adler's decision.
"The majority of people there are veterans, who have recently served our country," Chody said.
Adler, whose father was a disabled veteran, says his decision is not a protest of the veterans.
"Those kinds of things belong in our schools and our museums, but not in a parade where they're cheered."
Adler says this weekend, he will volunteer at the Central Texas Food Bank, which serves many veterans, as well as a veterans hospital outpatient clinic.
The parade committee provided the following statement:
The Austin Veterans Day Parade Committee acknowledges that Mayor Adler will not be joining us in this year’s Veterans parade. The Parade Committee did meet with Mayor Adler on this issue.
The Committee understands that some in our community consider the Confederate battle flag as a negative symbol and therefore we voted unanimously to ban the flag from the parade. The Committee's focus is to honor our veterans by including as many veterans as possible and create a safe environment for the parade.
The Committee appreciates the City of Austin's support and contributions to the Austin Veterans' Day Parade and acknowledges that without the city's support, this parade couldn't happen.
Chody says he would be open to having a conversation with Adler about this.
"Definitely open to that because I think we can have a conversation. Just because I disagree with him doesn't mean I don't ever want to see him," Chody said.
Adler also says he would be willing to discuss this with Chody.