By Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Monuments and plaques of Confederate military leaders like Robert E. Lee have been taken down in Brooklyn. Also, inquiries are being made to remove street names.
“New York City will conduct a 90-day review of all symbols of hate on city property,” Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced.
In my opinion, plaques and monuments tell a story of American history. That includes the good and the bad, which has troubled and divided America. If we deny history, we are doomed to repeat it. Future generations will truly suffer. In the book 1984 by George Orwell, history was rewritten to fit a belief system, not what actual had happened. President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson held slaves. Does that mean their monuments should be torn down, including Mount Rushmore? To take that further, what about their images on our currency. Let’s be real.
You fight racism and hate with love and understanding. History cannot be changed, but we can learn to live in peace and in harmony with one another and teach our children to do the same.
On a personal note, my grandfather had fought in the Union Army during the Civil War. He served under Gen. William Sherman in was involved in the march all the way to Georgia to eradicate slavery and to unite our great nation.
General Robert E. Lee was married to Georgia Washington’s grand-daughter. He worked with Union Gen. Ulysses Grant during the Mexican-American War and was a decorated war hero defending our country. Many accounts indicate he believed slavery was evil. After the Civil War, he worked with President Andrew Johnson’ program of Reconstruction. Here was an American veteran, and is being treated with such disrespect. So sad.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village