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Monday, May 27, 2024

The Civil Cold War Isn't Over

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. This is generally considered the end of the Civil War. As we know from history, the practices that divided us went on long after that date.

The animosity between those who advocated for the practices of the South has never fully dissipated into the sands of time. Robert E. Lee, along with other Southern leaders, were heroes to their people. While their contemporaries are long dead, their descendants carry forward their beliefs.

You might say, "They lost, we won! Get over it." Some have. Others haven't. Those who haven't still adhere to the slogan, "The South shall rise again!" Apparently, now seems as good a time as any.

It's ironic, then, that the Shenandoah County School Board in Virginia wants to restore the name of Robert E. Lee to a local school. Don't they know they are part of the North? I guess not. 

The Civil War was horrible. Any civil war pits family, friends, and neighbors against each other. There are no winners. We assume that without the Civil War, slavery would not have been abolished, but we don't know that.

Maybe the time for slavery to end was upon us in the late 1800s. Maybe had the anti-slavery movement gathered strength in another way, the outcome would have saved more lives, been more unifying, and resulted in the same eventual end to slavery.

We'll never know. In the meantime, the animosity continues to build, and nobody is doing much about assuaging it. The cold war may not stay cold forever.

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