Gettysburg and Gods & Generals director, Ron Maxwell delivered the annual commemoration of the Confederate Monument in Arlington National Cemetery recently and you can read the full text of that speech here. I think it is an excellent speech. Maxwell is catching some criticism for bringing up the letter (written and signed by a number of academics) which asked President Obama to break the long held tradition of laying at wreath at the Confederate Monument. Obama ignored the request.
Normally, I would have to agree with the critics that such comments should be left out of these types of memorial speeches. However, in this case, the letter in question also sought to demean those men to whom the monument was dedicated. Maxwell's comments, which touched on the letter, were simply a defense of those men.
Moreover, given the highly publicized letter and the hyper-politicization of our nation's history (and not just the Civil War), along with the fact the letter included an attack on Maxwell and the fact he would be delivering the speech this year, I think his comments were quite appropriate.
The critics suggesting that Maxwell should not have commented on the controversy--and come to the defense of those being memorialized--are either disingenuous or extremely naive.