Statues of America's Southern Heroes
Will a consensus be reached?
What are we losing in the current hostility some feel toward statues of America's southern heroes? We must realize that one part of the United States of America decided to secede from the rest.
A bloody, horrific, divisive civil war followed until the country's unity was restored by force. The defeated southern states licked their wounds, honored their dead, and revered those who had led their struggle in defeat at great personal risk and sacrifice.
Over the years statues were erected to remind ALL of us of those qualities that are in the national bloodstream, qualities which have shown forth in our struggles to preserve the freedoms of ALL Americans, Southerners and Northerners, Immigrants, and all of us.
Is heroism in a losing and discredited cause to also be discredited? American blood flowed on both sides. Courageous blacks served heroically, bled and died with honor on each side.
As in all the conflicts in human history there were dark, disgraceful moments of senseless brutality and disgrace. Wise men choose not to forget those, lest they be repeated and degrade us all.
Two people will regard a statue and see two different things symbolized, but the statue is a reminder to each of them of things important to be remembered.
We can never eliminate the past by simply removing the statues and their reminders.
America has always been strongest when our conflicts are contested in open public debate and a reached consensus.
Today we are engaged in a debate in which the former adversaries of ages past are expected to take sides once again over preserving or obliterating reminders of America's most tragic struggle among ourselves.
Whatever the outcome of today's debate, as in the past, there will be some who will not be satisfied with the outcome, and even continue to argue on…and on into unborn Americans' futures.