Dangerous Ignorance on Full Display in the Streets of America Today

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This Editorial is by Val Sommerville, a 10th Generation American.

A mini history lesson full of American truths birthed from the ignorance on full display in the streets of America today.

The destruction and removal of landmarks that mark the civil war era of our Nation is an abomination directed at our Veterans. Are you aware that every confederate soldier was given a pardon by the United States of America?

President William McKinley set in motion a healing that was deeply respected until recent dividing tactics of race baiting and regurgitation of old wounds from past generations. What is the purpose of picking these old scabs off?  Dividing a Nation over political power and greed and pushing a narrative to reach a boiling point to cause violence, vandalism, and death is beneath the dignity of every last one of us.  Let us remember what McKinley said the year of 1898: “…every soldier’s grave made during our unfortunate civil war is a tribute to American valor And the time has now come… when in the spirit of fraternity we should share in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers…The cordial feeling now happily existing between the North and South prompts this gracious act and if it needed further justification it is found in the gallant loyalty to the Union and the flag so conspicuously shown in the year just passed by the sons and grandsons of those heroic dead.”

Those words echoed by a President whose southern Patriots stood side by side with Northern Patriots as one fighting The then recent war with Spain.  The ability to fight for our Nation as ONE after the deepest self-inflicted wounds show and tell a story about the humanity of our ancestors that the people of this generation should heed.

By the 1930’s the Civil War Pensions constituted over 40% of the Federal Governments annual budget.  Can you imagine if our generation of Veterans were treated with this same amount of respect?  Would we have such high suicide rates among our American Heroes? Would there be so many homeless Veterans? Hungry Veterans standing with cardboard signs?

After President McKinley’s speech, Confederate Soldiers began getting pensions in some cases by the federal government.  Prior to this these warriors had to apply for a pension through their states where they had served.  In 1958 a Pardon was issued for ALL CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS and VA benefits were granted by the United States Government. By the end of that year, more than 1000 Confederate widows were added to the Federal Pensions rolls.

Perhaps our monuments, our DNA, and southern heritage need a Pardon from President Trump.  There is no reason to pick on a generation of American Veterans dead or alive and incite a campaign of hate and mistruths.  This is as insensitive as it would be to spit on our Vietnam Veterans.  Those monuments and statues won’t change an era of one generation of folly.  Instead, you are creating a new generation of unnecessary division among the people of the greatest beacon of hope on the planet.
Val Sommerville a 10th Generation American

 

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