Confederate Statues and a Way to Come Together

I’ve spent some time getting more perspective, viewpoints, and background on the tearing down of confederate statues. Here is where I stand.

First, I am against the defacing, tearing down, and destruction of confederate statues. They represent a time in America’s history that can’t be simply erased or ignored and for many who’s decedents fought in the war—family pride.

Two, statues typically celebrate, glorify, or pay tribute to people or ideas. I understand why some black people who drive or walk by these statues daily may take exception and be opposed with the reminder of these leader’s stand on slavery.

Three, the Civil War was this country’s darkest hour. Brother fought brother and the ideas over which they fought centered on slavery and freedom. It’s a period of time that can’t be erased. I’ve agreed previously with the statement “we must learn from history…not erase it.”

Four, things that teach include books, documentaries, museums, and schools (when all sides of issues and history are allowed to be taught). Statues can be part of that teaching—but would they not be better presented in a different setting?

Five, I’ve changed my thinking to the belief that these statues could be part of an important story told to Americans inside a grand tribute to the ideas, conflict, people, and eventual outcome of the Civil War.

It’s interesting to me that there are two significant Civil War museums in the United States.

The National Civil War Museum in Pennsylvania

The National Civil War Museum in Pennsylvania (the North) and the American Civil War Museum (in the South). In my opinion neither pay tribute in size and scope to the Civil War as they should. Sure there are other Civil War museums in the U.S. but these two, one set in the North and one set in the South—seem to define the Civil War from the perspectives of the “sides.”

The American Civil War Museum in Richmond, VA

What if the “The United States National Civil War History and Tribute Museum” were created and built as close to ontop of the Mason Dixon line as feasible?

And the current contents and displays of the existing museums were removed and “brought together” in this new, grand place?

And in this new grand place, an exhibit hall or wing was created that housed all of the country’s confederate statues. One, as a form of tribute, education, and ensuring these statues remain for the ages. And two, the exhibit hall would tell a second important story about today’s chapter in U.S. history.

It would tell a story about the realization by our country’s leadership of the incendiary nature of statues standing in cities and neighborhoods all over the South that are constant reminders to some of slavery and those that celebrated and fought for it. It would tell a story about how, in a major acknowledgment to the continued existence of racism in America, that in 2020 it was decided that these reminders in the form of glorification would be removed from the countryside and brought together as part of the purpose of this exhibit all: education and reflection.

America’s future generations would see in the exhibit hall that in the America of 2020, we took a bold step to reinforce that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It could be one of the boldest stands against racism in decades in America and become part of the healing we need at this time more than ever.

Feeling Good About America

Lately I’ve felt a need to recharge my “America is great” batteries. I watched America: Imagine The World Without Her in 2014 when it came out and watched it again recently after feeling fatigued over the news on the political front.

I watched it again last night because I wanted absorb some material to help refresh my love for America and appreciation for being of this country.

If you haven’t watched it–I’d rent or buy it and take a look because it really helps establish that America and Americans have been on the side of “right” more than “wrong” more often than not.

And inside this film was this 1-1/2 minute clip of the musician Bono in a speech saying that “America is one of the greatest ideas in human existence.”

America IS an idea and is greater than any group or individual within it. Whether priest, politician, policewoman, or physician.

God Bless our Forefathers for their wisdom, strength, and fortitude in creating the greatest nation on Earth.

When Did it Become Okay to Limit our Love of Country?

I don’t think I’ll ever understand why things like this happen, like why Delta’s “policy” caused their employee to tell Ms. Gaudry to silence her desire to express her love of this country and show respect for a fallen serviceman.

A former president once said “I’ve always believed that this land was set aside in an uncommon way. That a divine plan placed this great continent between the oceans to be found by a people from every corner of the Earth, who had a special love of faith, freedom, and peace. Let us reaffirm America’s destiny of goodness and goodwill.”

And so here we are…a country comprised of “people from every corner of the Earth.”

Yet some would have us believe its “wrong” or “uncomfortable to others” for a woman to lead a group of passengers on a plane flying between two American cities to sing the National Anthem out of respect for the friend of a deceased serviceman onboard. Because it might make some feel uncomfortable?

Whether those in this country “fled from where they were” or “came to a new beginning,” we each must respect the house we are in. When I stay at a friends’ home–I respect their house, their rules, their values, their haven. And if I should seek to become part of their family, a citizen if you will, I don’t kneel while the family says grace at supper, and I don’t burn the flag–because now it’s my flag.

God Bless you Pam Gaudry, and God Bless the United States of America.