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Letter: Confederate tribute

Historical statues can’t be taken down without some sort of emotional reaction. In this case, in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, Robert E Lee on his horse, Traveler. The impetus to do this is done in ignorance of history. Check out the last episode of Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” to see the dignified and honorable agreement between Grant and Lee at the surrender at Appomattox. The Union soldiers weren’t indifferent to the South’s loss and couldn’t muster a cheer in their defeat. The Confederate camp included many old men and boys in a rag-tag army.

Jeff Davis had dreams of a separate country, slave or not, that may have included Mexico and parts of Central America. At this point, it’s safe to say the South will not rise again to those ambitions. Robert E. Lee gave the intentions of the South dignity, and should not be a symbol of rebellion or indignation to the ignorant on either side.

Pity the innocent bystanders between the extremists. Some Civil War body counts of single battles exceeded those of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined. That’s when the population was a fraction of what it is today.

The weight of a Confederate statue gives tribute to those who died in a lost cause. Unfortunately, it’s forgotten or misconstrued on both sides. It also degrades the meaning of the Lincoln Memorial. We should not become victims of this emotional turmoil, despite those who want to wreck or resurrect our past.

Fred Stewart

Grand Junction


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