In reference to Confederate monuments, writing in 1869, General Robert E. Lee stated it would be wiser “… not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife.” I believe these are wise words from a man who was a veteran of the Civil War. Monuments and plaques to the Civil War would be like Germany erecting monuments to Hitler, Goebbels, or the Nazis as a whole.
These (Confederates) were a collection of, predominately, men who decided to go against the UNITED States. They determined that the ownership of other humans was right and proper. They were willing to, and did, put their lives on the line to perpetuate this heinous tradition.
The Confederates LOST the war; losers should not be given the honor of flags, monuments, or plaques on government property. The Confederate veterans fought AGAINST the United States of America, and lost. This point seems to be moot, but it is correct. The United States does not fly the Union Jack over any federal buildings. Mexico does not fly the Spanish flag. Victors of wars do not fly the losers’ flags or erect monuments to their enemy.
All references to the Civil War belong in our museums as they are in our history books. I realize the memorialization of Civil War veterans is important to the descendants of these veterans, but this can be accomplished in a less aggressive manner by placing these memorials in places that are not part of government property or in blatant public places.
You may say what you want about Jefferson, Washington, etc. Yes, they also owned slaves at a time prior to the Civil War. There were abolitionists alive and thriving in their period, but the movement came to fruition in Lincoln’s time. The country, as a whole, decided this was the right time to abolish slavery and recognize the humanity of people who were brought over to America without their permission.
This is not a right or left, liberal or conservative, decision. This is about the eyes of the descendants of slavery, and the recognition that slavery was despicable and wrong.
— Sara Thomsen, Charles Town