Letter: Why pay homage to enemies of U.S.?
To the editor, I'd like to comment on a statement from a recent article by Herald columnist Lloyd Omdahl, and a question that has been repeated on social media and even by our president. If we remove statues of leaders of the Confederacy, will Ge...
To the editor,
I'd like to comment on a statement from a recent article by Herald columnist Lloyd Omdahl, and a question that has been repeated on social media and even by our president. If we remove statues of leaders of the Confederacy, will George Washington and Thomas Jefferson be next?
Washington and Jefferson lived many years before the Civil War, and indeed owned slaves at a time in American history when it was not only legal, but, at least with some, socially acceptable. However, to equate Washington and Jefferson with leaders of the Confederacy shows a profound lack of understanding of American history.
First of all, the statues that have been coming down were not erected in the mid 1800s following the Civil War in honor of war heroes. Most of those statues were erected in the early 1900s during the Jim Crow days by sympathizers of the confederacy as a poke in the eye to people who believed all men are created equal.
Washington and Jefferson were builders of this great country of ours. They were some of our forefathers who worked hard to put together this nation and devoted much time to its creation and sustainability.
On the other hand, leaders of the Confederacy were enemies of the United States. They were traitors to the United States. They waged war against the United States. They sought to break up these United States.
While slavery was a huge reason for the Civil War, It is also inaccurate to say the North went to war to free the slaves. When the southern states decided to secede from the union, the North went to war to hold the country together. President Lincoln didn't issue the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves, until January 1863, almost two years into the Civil War.
Recent public displays by Nazis and KKK have rightfully fueled the call to get rid of statues commemorating enemies of the United States. Why would any American patriot bow down to an enemy of the United States? Why should enemies of the United States be put on display? Why should the losers of the Civil War be given participation trophies?
Joe T. Chyle