- - Monday, August 28, 2017


What should Americans do with our most controversial, even repugnant, statues and memorials? The most popular solutions thus far have been to leave the statues alone, move them to a remote part of the city or town, put them in a museum or destroy them. The best solution for these statues, including that of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who in my view was a traitor to our country and fought for the perpetuation of slavery, is none of the above.

People like Gen. Lee, who have changed the destiny of America (for better or worse) deserve to be memorialized. Their monuments should serve as truth-telling history lessons for the thousands, or even millions, of Americans and foreigners who visit and view them. Each of these statues and memorials should display several plaques that tell the truth about these historical figures and events. Distinguished historians, both living and dead, would be the best choices to assemble the most pertinent facts, make the most compelling arguments and draw the most authoritative conclusions about each of these people.

Imagine what visitors to these memorials would think after reading these educational plaques. The knowledgeable would savor the wisdom of the ages. The ignorant would be enlightened. And the close-minded might open their minds and see the memorialized figures and events memorialized in a new and truthful light.


Agawam, Mass.

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