The Washington Times - July 3, 2009, 03:47PM

It’s July 3 again, and our minds and thoughts return to that fateful day in 1863 when, for the South, the War Between the States was over, and the South had lost.

Walking the battlefield once more, with the recent attention to the attempt to restore it to the stage it was in 1863,  you can still almost hear the cannon firing, the minie balls whistling overhead, and the moans and groans of those lying injured or dying across the fields.  They are ien Devil’s Den, up near the Paddy O’Rorke monument and in numerous other spots.  The blood may not be visible any longer, but their spirits — Yanks and Rebels alike — pervade the landscape.


It’s also the 200th anni ersary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, and one has to wonder what would have transpired, might  have transpired, had not  Lincoln been elected.  Surely animosity throughout the nation increased exponentially as the “Great Emancipator” took the reins of freedom, only to be shot down by actor John Wilkes Both in the name of the South.

People have fought and refought the virtual Battle of Gettysburg many times, books have been written, movies made.  Suppose this leader or that one had arrived at a different time.  Suppose Lee’s lost order had been found by a Rebel instead of a Yank.

Suppose someone had smoked the darn cigars!  What would  have happened?

But thingsh happened as they did for a reason and the country in its own weird way was reunited.  Don’t try to tell that to a rabid Northerner, or to many Southerners.  Old habits and traits, traditions and heritage die  hard in the South, and probably will outlive  us all. Any why not — they were and are entitled to it.  Others will go on glorifying Lincoln and praising him.

In Washington, DC, our reunited nation’s capital, a holiday is still held each June - Juneteenth it’s called, even to this day. It is set apart and honored by African Americans (most of whom never saw Africa, nor did some 5 generations of ancestors) as the day of Emancipation.  And that’s OK.  But let a bunch of Southern oriented folks place a flag on Confederate graves in a cemetery,and someone rushes in to say they “are offended.”

And  they will be vocally supported by the Congressional Black Caucus,  the Black Journalists’ Society, the NAACP, and many other single-interest group who see nothing wrong with this “observance” some 140 plus years after the war’s end.  There still remains, in Washington DC, a specific “Black Family Day at the Zoo”  in 2009, to remember the days back in the 60s when blacks were not admitted. Forget that that hasn’t been so in decades, it’s remembered.

So in many ways, Lincoln’s life and death didn’t matter, the country has not really changed since 1863. The blood on the field of Gettysburg may be virtual instead of real, but it’s still there.  And one has to wonder if it really matters.