We all lose

Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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To the Editor:

These are trying, troubling times if you love your state and nation. How have the events of the last 12 months been allowed to happen? We have a governor who has a chain link fence put at the capitol for a pro-2nd amendment rally, but allows 90 days of riots to destroy the center of the capital city and does nothing. Monuments honoring historical figures, founding fathers, Revolutionary war heroes, Civil War heroes and others have been defaced and destroyed across our state and nation in the name of woke correctness. It is a crime and a sin to apply the woke morality of today on those who built our state and nation decades and centuries in the past. I would argue that much of the desire to destroy is due to ignorance of historical facts, or a wish to change what was reality.

Why has our state and national history, including the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Federalist Papers, Revolutionary War, Civil War, etc., not been taught in elementary and secondary schools? Probably the same reason they stopped teaching cursive writing in elementary school. It is perceived by academia as unimportant. So we end up with kids who can’t sign their own name, much less read original founding documents. People who are ignorant of facts are easily swayed to believe whatever they are told. Every monument that is destroyed makes changing the narrative easier.

I am personally affronted by the destruction of any and all historical monuments. Fifty years past, I went to Vietnam. If someone decided to destroy the Vietnam Memorial, there are enough veterans living to make it an unpleasant mistake. Our ancestors do not have this option. The majority of all war memorials are or were built and paid for by veterans who survived or the survivors and descendants of those who didn’t. Where is the respect? Destruction of these sites is a permanent loss for our posterity and an insult to those who worked, built, fought and died for our state and nation.

I have recently heard Confederate soldiers called traitors and worse. Historians would know that the fathers and grandfathers of Confederate soldiers fought the Revolutionary War and that during that part of our history state citizenship was as important as U.S. citizenship. Many Virginians left the U.S. service during the Civil War, because they would not fight against their home state. These men should be honored and not be disrespected. Their loyalty was to Virginia. Obviously the Confederacy was on the losing side of the war, but veterans of both sides respected each other. This respect culminated in grave markers being provided for Union and Confederate veterans with one exception. The U.S. would not provide grave markers to thousands of Black Confederate soldiers. 150 years after the fact, our history should be taught, not destroyed. If our governor isn’t ashamed, we should be. We and our kids deserve better.

J.W. Ballard