As I read a recent article about the public hearing set to discuss the Civil War monument at our Monroe county seat courthouse, my heart ached for all the strife, destruction, separation and lives lost during that war.
The heart-warming part was Commissioner Stony Rushing’s comments and reason why he will vote for it to remain in place. I am in agreement with much of what he said.
What I will add is that there are lessons to be learned from history – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Walter Bickett, then governor of North Carolina, was a man of his times and lived in the culture of his times (early 1900s) when he spoke at the erection of the monument in 1910. His comments included remarks about North Carolina’s “purest Anglo-Saxon blood to be found on the American shores” along with other racist remarks.
Stoney, myself and you are people of the 21st century where we still struggle for equality and inclusion in UNION with one another. However, we are still striving for justice for all.
Why not use our monuments to remind us of our mistakes and to learn from the experiences.of the past?
If we are able to view them with a reminder of what it took to make changes in the culture of those times, they can serve us well. True… there are many who will never see the other side of the oppression and suppression that pulled us apart.
But I think there are far more that are now focused on equality in diversity, union in inclusion, and facing the past with the intention of hope for the future. We are, at heart, citizens of COMMUNITY ………… COMing together in UNITY.
Loretta Melancon, Monroe