I believe I speak for many Virginians when I say that we are very disappointed in the Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and its blatant exclusion of any recognition of the 32,000+ Virginians who answered the State’s call to take up arms in her defense and never returned home, or the thousands more who survived the war and returned to help rebuild the ruins of the State.
While no one denies that slavery was one of the main issues that led to the conflict and deserves a place in any discussion of the War Between the States, this commission has taken its original focus of inclusion, which we applaud, and twisted it so far as to make slavery/emancipation its main focus, in effect excluding any remembrance of the men and women who so valiantly defended Virginia.
The commission’s Facebook page is closed to comments, based on the fact that there were many Virginians who questioned the content as being void of any mention of the rich history of our State and the War, other than that which relates to slavery/emancipation.
Throughout the years the State has made many promises to honor the memory of its Veterans, most of which have been broken. This injustice should be enough to cause an outcry, but this commission, which is funded by the tax dollars from the descendants of these brave heroes, has stepped the offense up from disregarding promises to actually attacking the memory of our veterans.
Even if one has no interest in honoring these valiant men, the economic fallout of the decisions made should be questioned. Virginia is rich in its history, with battlefields, museums, cemeteries and other places of interest, which, if promoted properly, could draw in tourists and revenue. Instead, in the name of political correctness, these treasures are left ignored at a time when additional revenue is desperately needed.
General Patrick Cleburne, CSA said this, in the midst of the War…
“Surrender means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War; will be impressed by all the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit subjects for derision”.
How prophetic…and how sad that we would see it propagated not by Northern school teachers or school books, but by those who are being paid by the Commonwealth of Virginia to promote the Sesquicentennial. -Susan Frise Hathaway in response to:
Not Your Grandfather’s Civil War Commemoration by Kevin M. Levin on The Atlantic
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