More than 100 Confederate monuments have been moved or destroyed in recent years, all due to outraged juveniles who have no understanding of why, how or even when the Civil War was fought. Yet the men who actually fought those battles, survived horrific wounds and lost dear friends, the men who should have good reason to resent monuments erected in memory of their foes, respected the soldiers of the vanquished South and even saluted them as they laid down their arms and marched home from Appomattox. It was a uniquely American end to a tragic conflict. Seventy-five years later, in July 1938, almost 2,000 surviving soldiers from both sides met as friends at Gettysburg, where President Roosevelt lit the Eternal Light Peace Monument.
If the men who actually endured the pain and loss of that war could treat each other with such respect and honor, how can the animosity of today be explained? How did the offspring of these noble and charitable soldiers evolve into the infantile protesters of today? The war is over. The monuments do nothing more than pay due reverence to our ancestors. My great-great grandfather took a bullet in the elbow near Antietam. My wife’s family lost a brother near Vicksburg. Our families once fought on opposite sides, but today we are one family, as our nation should be.