Many people, including Republicans, are saying we can’t tear down Confederate statues because it erases history. When I hear that argument I interpret it as the statues are historical, and something so old shouldn’t be destroyed because it offends a handful of people. However, most people who are using this “history” argument are saying the statues should remain as a reminder to never go back to slavery. I find the later argument about as ridiculous as removing Confederate statues for the same reason. This is because statues of retiring soldiers aren’t erected to remind people about the history of a war. It’s to honor, respect and remember the people who fought in the war. These statues depicting Confederate soldiers are simply honoring those who answered the call from their state. It would be like people who opposed the Vietnam War saying we should tear down the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The people in these wars should still be respected for serving their state and country even if you disagree with what the country was doing at the time.
What continues to blow my mind is the constant war against paintings, statues and schools honoring Robert E. Lee. General Lee was more than a Confederate general. He was first offered to lead the Union Army, but felt he could not fight against his home state. If Virginia hadn’t seceded there’s no telling what he might have done. Before the war he had fought in the Mexican-American War and had already made a name for himself in the US Army. After the Civil War he pledged allegiance to the United States Constitution, said he was “now American” and became President of Washington University (now Washington and Lee University). So on top of being a war veteran, Lee was a popular educator. To say this man should be compared to Adolf Hitler is just denying basic history. Adolf Hitler fought until he couldn’t fight anymore, then sent out the elderly to fight. He was a psychopathic, god-playing, dictator who committed suicide rather than admit defeat. Robert E. Lee surrendered because he thought enough people had died, and was happy to see slavery abolished after the war. There’s a striking difference between someone who fought a war out of duty, and someone who fought a war for themselves.
As for the average soldier or other generals, I feel like they should still be respected. Many of them believed the Confederacy was fighting for independence rather than slavery. They also fought simply because the south was their home. Near the end of the war when the Union was burning down southern cities do you really think Confederates were thinking about slavery as they tried to repel Union attacks? The Civil War was America’s most bloodiest war and I don’t think some self-righteous people 150 years later should get to determine the value of those who died in that war. Maybe if we were building new monuments to the Confederacy they might have a reason to protest, but to take down Veteran Memorials that range from half a century to over a century old should be opposed by every American, north or south. Sadly, we live in times where people rarely think, let alone ponder about what an honorable course of action could be. While I’m against this false narrative of history spread by racists on both sides, I would gladly see these monuments appreciated on private property opposed to vandalized in cities that do not appreciate or defend them. It just seems like most liberals are resilient to even make such a compromise, or do so with respect to the statue in mind. Many simply want the statues eradicated, and I can find very little respect for such a one-sided opinion. Hopefully, this article will help open some people’s eyes to a less divisive debate over these statues. Letting Black Lives Matter and the KKK battle over these monuments isn’t going to let any real reason to be heard, because they both work purely on a racist agenda.