17 July 2015

Contextualize This


There is a growing chorus among some discussing Confederate monuments and statues that there is a need for such monuments to be "contextualized" - comments added at the site to explain the purpose of the monument so as to put the monument and it's meaning in "the proper context." I'll have more to say on that soon but, in the mean time, consider this quote:
We too easily lose sight of the fact that while the activities of Confederate veterans during the postwar decades reinforced their connection to the 1860s and with one another it did not prevent them from moving forward.  These men ought not to be interpreted as stuck in time.  It may not be a stretch to suggest that their experiences in the war eventually enhanced their love and attachment for the United States.
The author of these words and I seldom agree on much. But on this, we certainly do. The "postwar decades" is when most of the Confederate monuments and statues went up. So let's keep the words of Kevin Levin in mind when we consider the whole lives of Confederate Veterans and, in particular, their "love and attachment" to these United States.

2 comments:

Robert Moore said...

"It may not be a stretch to suggest that their experiences in the war eventually enhanced their love and attachment for the United States."

And in their sons and daughters, and in succeeding generations.

It's an irony some can't bring themselves to admit... if they even know and think about it (which, I dare say, a lot do not... at least in my encounters, especially on the Web). How we, today, can look at Confederate iconography, and hear it whisper "duty... honor... country" to us, as we embrace the flag of the United States - even signing contracts in which we pledge our lives to the same - is apparently unfathomable to too many.

This is where too many fail to understand that Confederate iconography (and even just the "heritage") also has a positive effect, strange as that may seem... but not to you and I.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Precisely Robert. Very well put. Thanks for the comment.