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Don’t Honor the Rebels

Editor, News-Register:

Personally, I feel it most appropriate that monuments honoring those individuals who took up arms against our great nation in the American Civil War, also known as the War Between the Stats, from 1861-65, as members of the Confederate States of America. Such actions must be considered to have been treasonous.

The 11 states that elected to secede from the Union in order to essentially form their own nation, did so in an attempt to preserve the unconscionable institution of enslaving an entire race of people for their financial benefit. Therefore, they should not be honored by the nation they sought to destroy.

However, such should be done respectfully, peacefully and systematically, by the will of the people through proper government channels.

The vast majority of statues memorializing Confederate generals, obviously most often appear in cities, parks and on college campuses in states which once seceded from the Union in order to form their own nation.

The American Civil War began with the Confederates’ attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861, and ended on April 9, 1865, with General Robert E. Lee of the Confederacy surrendering to General Ulysses S. Grant of the Union Army. During the four bloody years of war, 140,414 of those who fought valiantly to preserve the Union perished in battle and 281,881 were wounded. In addition, 180,000 African-Americans, whose people were enslaved by the Southerners, served in the Union Army, with 37,000 being killed and 31,000 wounded in battle during the war.

Admirably, the state of West Virginia was formed as a result of its refusal to secede from the Union, as they had been part of the state of Virginia, and officially were admitted to the United States of America in 1863.

In addition, there are 10 U.S. Army bases named for Confederate generals, and President Trump has emphatically stated that he “will not consider renaming said bases, as they are part of our great American heritage.”

Is there anywhere in the history of the world when so much honor and prestige has been placed on a vanquished entity, by the victorious nation, in spite of the immense suffering they had indisputably caused, as has been done here?

In closing, Confederate leaders should be remembered as part of our nation’s history in numerous appropriate historical venues, but those who chose to wage an aggressive war against our great nation should not be lionized. Such honor should be reserved exclusively for those who fought and sacrificed to preserve and defend our great country, the United States of America.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry

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