Monumental divisions

To the Editor:

Confederate statues are being used as an excuse to drive a wedge between Americans in order to allow the progressive socialists to further their agenda. They have brainwashed many African Americans to believe the statues are a symbol of slavery and should be desecrated, destroyed or removed. Unfortunately, most of the individuals involved in these acts lack even a minimal knowledge of the American Civil War or what the Confederate states considered the War of Northern Aggression.

When my great-grandfather turned 16, he answered President Lincoln’s call for volunteers to fight to preserve the union, and he enlisted in a unit of the New York Engineers. He was born and raised in McKean County, Pa., and almost certainly never had contact with an African American, slave or free, before he enlisted. I am equally sure he was not an abolitionist. Most of the soldiers who fought on the side of the Confederacy were not slave owners. They were fighting to preserve their respective states.

After the progressives are successful in desecrating, destroying or removing Confederate statues, what will be next? Obviously, the statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson must be removed. Also, we need to remove their portraits from the one and two dollar bills, rename countries, cities and streets that are named after anyone who owned slaves and, of course, rename Washington, D.C. Military installations also have to be renamed. Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia was named after Ambrose P. Hill, one of Gen. Robert E. Lees’ Corps commanders, and Fort Hood, Texas, was named after Confederate Gen. John B. Hood.

No one gets to choose their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents. Those choices are made for us, and for better or worse, they represent our heritage. To destroy symbols of one’s heritage is wrong and, if it continues, will never allow our nation to come together and heal.

Were the black soldiers who fought for the Confederate States of America pro slavery? Should the Confederate monument in Arlington National Cemetery that honors African American soldiers be desecrated destroyed or removed?

Donald E. De Golyer

Southwest Harbor

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