Remember them, yes!

Published 8:50 am Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I am dismayed — but not surprised — by the attention still being given to the issue of the Confederate flag and the Confederate monuments in this area. It is my view that those who would still support a fight for the retention of a way of life contrary to our stated declaration of independence and our constitutional way of life — our national democracy — have sadly missed or are deliberately ignoring what our “dead soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines” and our “wounded warriors” of all eras have stood and fought for — the national symbol that represents it (the grand old 13 stripes and 50 stars).

I’ve read both of the articles in The Tidewater News dated July 15, 2015 – ‘Local Confederate monuments still standing’ and ‘Suffolk Lawyer fights for flag on license plates.’ And I’ve read them very carefully.

These monuments were erected at the opening of the 20th-century (1902, 1905 and 1911) some 40-plus years after the Civil War ended and reflects an attitude of victorious defiance. In a very real sense, we are still fighting that war. It will never end until those who were defeated lay claim to that fact. Remember them, yes, but for who they really were!

Since those monuments were erected, we have fought WWI, WWII, the Korean conflict, the Viet Nam war, small scrimmages in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and finally the Middle East wars, of which we are still engaged. Even the political “cold war” occupied our attention for nearly 40 years solidifying the principles upon which we were established — capitalism with hints of social causes.

During 100-plus years — nearly all of the 20th century — we Americans fought for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all, not against these principles of which the Confederate States of America fought to destroy. After 150 years of fighting the civil war, it is time we unite under one flag and one country.

Sentiments such as “The Confederate States of America, the date of the Civil War and Our Confederate Dead” will and have aroused deep hidden emotions that have often surfaced with violence and absolute terrorism to those principally charged with starting the raucous in the first place.

And the captions that ends with “their graves who died for native land and duty most sublime” does not reflect a defeated foe, but rather a victory dance of those wounded and fallen in battle to retain that way of life.

To call the Union Soldiers Northern Invaders and the Civil War, the War of Northern Aggression just adds to the notion of an effort to retain a way of life contrary to our democracy, our culture, our morality. The Confederate States of America along with its symbolic flag broke with the United States of America and thus must be called what they were; surely not patriotic U.S. citizens or “….. A signpost on the road to fame, to honor and to truth.” That signpost has caused much anguish, heartache, cruelty and pain as the road to fame, honor and truth continues to be evasive. That kind of fame, honor and truth lingers still as the death toll steadily increases. Remember them, yes, by all means but for who they really were!

Our history as a country will affirm that we have fought only two wars for the retention of a way of life: The War of Independence and the Civil War. All other wars have been fought for “the principle on which our country was founded: ‘We the people of the United States of America.’”

And so we still honored the mutineers who fought and died to retain their way of life with laws that protect memorials for quisling war veterans who placed their loyalty and patriotism against these United States of America.

DR. WILLIAM A. SCOTT is retired from the National Security Agency of the Department of Defense. Since his retirement, he has served as an adjunct professor for Washington Bible College/Capital Bible Seminary and Executive Director and Academic Dean for Triangle Bible Institute of Triangle, Virginia. He is serving as the Youth Ministry Director of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, Boykins, Virginia.