Letter: Confederate statue was inappropriate target

Recently, a statue in Durham, North Carolina, was torn down. This is part of the trend to remove statues of Confederate leaders as such are thought to represent bigoted ideals.

In this particular instance the statue, erected in 1924, depicted a common Confederate soldier. Such a person was unlikely to have owned slaves or have had a deep rooted racist ideological ax to grind. The boys in gray were caught up in the moment and fought for their folk. By the time the statue went up they had either died in the Civil War 60 years beforehand, or were in the twilight of their lives. They were not honored with a statue for ideological but sentimental reasons; for the same sentiment as monuments scattered across small towns in Iowa to the Union boys in blue. Because, in 1924, the young of that time wanted to commemorate the service of their grandparents, and the old of that age wanted to commemorate the youth left behind in the past.

The people commemorated by the statue, and the people who erected the statue, are long dead. Their children and many of their grandchildren are likely gone as well. I can understand seeing that statue as the equivalent of a statue of Robert E. Lee, but if anyone has stopped to think, they may have realized it was a statue to an overlooked victim of the Civil War: the common Confederate soldier.

In the protesters zeal to “resist” they simply destroyed, in a manner almost as thoughtless as tipping over a tombstone. I wonder how many of the “resistance” that pulled down that statue have sacrificed on par with the soldier commemorated by the statue?

David Sheets


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