Confederate statue should be replaced with statue for all

It wasn’t that long ago that I could look at the Confederate soldier statue in front of the Harrison County Courthouse and basically shrug. I can’t say I admired it, but it didn’t affect me directly and I never spoke up.

Over the past few years, seeds of doubt about the harmlessness of such displays grew. I’m not an expert, but I have read quite a few books about the Civil War; the war as it really was and not a flight of Margaret Mitchell’s fancy. If you have any doubt that the war was about anything other than the preservation of slavery, all you have to do is look at the Confederacy’s own paper trail. States’ rights? Sure, a state’s right to enslave human beings.

Certainly, on an individual level, many were not fighting to maintain slavery, per se. Even some of the leaders were conflicted, but that doesn’t change what they were supporting.

I have ancestors who fought for the Confederacy. I don’t revile them, or even judge them harshly, but I also don’t revere them. That’s what statues do. A monument on public property should be a representation of the values of the community as a whole.

Robert E. Lee was a student of history who recognized the power of symbols. He concluded that countries that did not erect monuments to their civil wars recovered and achieved unification more quickly than those that did. He opposed building memorials to our own war. This is why I signed the petition to remove the Confederate statue. It doesn’t have to be destroyed, but I don’t believe it should occupy public property without an attempt to place it in its proper historical context. History will not be altered in any way.

Why not replace the generic Confederate statue with one that honors the dead from all U. S. wars? Marshall resident Linda Harber