Friday, May 12, 2017

The Catalyst for Confederate Renewal

Removal of the Jefferson Davis monument in New Orleans

All except one of the wars Americans have fought throughout our history have been fought on foreign soil.  Our soldiers and sailors left home to fight an enemy abroad.  But in that exceptional War of 1861, Southern soldiers fought on their own soil.  The enemy was on the doorstep of their homes.  In some cases the enemy had set up camp inside their homes.  What man would not fight to protect his home and family?  

While some could and do question our involvement in foreign wars, one would think that we could all agree that if an enemy is threatening your home and your family, you have a right - yea, a duty - to fight.  In spite of the conflicting views about the causes of the War of 1861, you would think we could agree on that much.  But the irony is that the only veterans in our history who are now denigrated and subjected to ridicule are the ones who fought on their doorsteps to protect their families.  

Prior to the 1960s the memory of the Confederate soldier enjoyed almost universal acclaim.  Our northern cousins may not have agreed on the causes of the war, but they understood and appreciated the Confederate soldier's valor and tenacity.  At the same time most Southerners acknowledged that the Union soldier was bravely doing his duty as he saw it.  I'm old enough to remember when there was some goodwill on both sides about this awful part of our history.  It required a measure of memory suspension, but most of us were willing to suspend memory to achieve harmony.  

Sadly, those harmonious feelings are stretched thin these days.  But the demographics of this conflict have changed since the end of that war in 1865.  156 years is a long time.   It's not our cousins presently living in the north who are clamoring to assassinate the character of the Confederate soldier and remove every monument that reveres his devotion to home and family.  Our enemies live among us.  We've put some of them in positions of power.  I hope we remember that in upcoming elections.

In the meantime, the purging of Confederate heritage continues.  In the wee hours of the morning on May 11, the Jefferson Davis monument in New Orleans was dismantled and hauled away by Mayor Mitch Landrieu's masked henchmen.  They may remove our Confederate heroes from public property, but they will never succeed in removing them from our hearts.  They may find that this holier-than-Thou purge of theirs may be the catalyst for a renewal of Confederate spirit.  And those of you who are apathetic about the Confederate soldier should ponder the fact that the movers and shakers behind this war on Confederate heritage will eventually be coming after what is near and dear to you - the American flag, American history, and the American soldier.


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