The US Army War College in Pennsylvania has been around for a long time. It teaches high ranking Army officers about military history and they learn battle tactics. It is one of those tickets senior officers get punched to get promoted. I know many officers who have attended and they say it was a valuable experience for them. Any time someone can learn it is good.
So long as the students are learning accurate history.
This is America and we have blemishes because we have a flawed past. We held human beings as slaves and we discriminated against them when they were no longer slaves. We fought a war amongst ourselves and we put Japanese Americans in internment camps solely because they were Japanese.
But as a nation we have learned along the way and we look at those blemishes and try to make today a better day than yesterday. We no longer have slavery and most people think that is a good thing and wonder how we could have ever had such an institution. We look at how Japanese Americans were treated and wonder how our government could have done that and then we realize the government could do it again.
And don’t get started on how Native Americans were treated after we got here and TOOK their land from them.
Through it all we retell those stories and we keep that history as a reminder of a less than perfect past that our nation lived. It teaches us that we were not perfect then and we are not perfect now. We have gotten better and we are still the greatest nation on this planet BUT we are far from perfect.
The Army War College is reportedly considering removing statues and paintings of Confederate Generals. It seems that some folks are upset that we have these things honoring men who fought against this nation. I believe the term was enemies of this nation.
The men who fought in the Civil War for the Confederate states were enemies on the battlefield only. They fought for state’s rights (not slavery though slavery was ONE of the issues concerning state’s rights) and they tried to remove themselves from a union as they were promised they were free to do when they willingly joined the union. That promise was ignored and they became an enemy.
Many of those generals went to West Point and attended classes with the generals of the Union that they would eventually battle in war. They were American citizens (until they seceded) who stood up for what they believed to be right.
No matter what one thinks of them or the war the reality is they are a part of our history and a part of what made this nation what it is today. After the war they were treated badly even though they swore allegiance to the nation and agreed that with the war over they needed to work to reunite the nation.
They are a part of our history and they have a place in it. Some of these men were the finest tacticians of their time and some of their tactics are still used today.
Hiding their pictures or statues in a corner or closet does not change the history of this nation. It only demonstrates a weakness in our military and nation at large. This weakness is the inability to learn from the past and to teach all of our history no matter how painful it is.
Never surrender, never submit.
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