31 January 2009

The Original Peace

I've posted on this subject before and readers might want to read this post and this post before reading the rest of this one. On 17 November 1909, an article appeared in The Gazette newspaper of Lexington, Virginia. Below are some excerpts from the piece which augment the points I made in the posts to which I refer above:

"President Taft struck a responsible chord last Wednesday in his address in Richmond when in the course of his patriotic speech he warmly endorsed the establishment by the whole people of a lasting memorial to General Robert E. Lee at Washington and Lee University, the institution to which the illustrious military chieftain gave the closing days of his eventful life. The President said:

We have now reached the point where we can look back without prejudice and without partisan passion to the events of the Civil War. The North has come to admire to the full the heroes of the South, and the South admires to the full the heroes of the North . . . The full meaning of this endorsement will more readily be understood when it is recalled that President Taft had spent the greater portion of the day in visiting historic scenes in Richmond. He had stood in the hall of teh House of Delegates, the White House of the Confederacy; had spent a short time in Hollywood beside the tombs of President Monroe, President Tyler and President Davis; had gazed upon the monument erected to the memory of the only President of the Confederacy; had breathed the atmosphere of old St. John's church and stood by the historic pew in which Patrick Henry made his famous speech; and had viewed other places no less noted for their connection with history in its making. Under the spell of these influences President Taft gave utterance to his endorsement of the Lee memorial at Washington and Lee University."

The piece continues, citing similar comments by former President Teddy Roosevelt.

My point? There was a time in our Nation, before the left politicized history,when most Americans looked upon men like Lee with admiration and respect. When the left began attacking Southern heroes in pursuit of their agenda, Southerners often responded in kind, often very emotionally. Since the South was (and remains for the most part) conservative in much of its opinions, politics, and way of life, it became the favorite target of leftists and remains so today - "Jesusland" as one liberal commentator called it.

These so-called "new" and more "enlightened" interpretations of history are, more often than not, simply rehashes of old interpretations.

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