As a military writer and long time Civil War buff, the statues issue presents something of a dilemma. Seen as a game war can be extremely fascinating. As a flesh and blood reality, however, war is an ugly, soul crushing experience. Unfortunately war is often presented in heroically glorified terms as bands playing, flags waving pageantry of which statures are apart.

It is true that Robert E. Lee was a uniquely effective and bold warrior. As viewed politically, however, unlike Washington and Jefferson who were not enthusiastic slave owners, Lee was whole headily in favor of what some called the “peculiar institution.”

The bottom line is that the Confederate mentality before, during and after America’s bloodiest war has always been a drag upon America’s ideals of liberty and justice for all — her better angels.

I say let’s leave Civil War statues on the battlefields, not in town squares. Battlefields are some of the places we have been. Town squares should be used to show where we hope to go.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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