What a blistering week we’ve had!
I’ve read the complaining posts on several sites over the last few weeks about the Confederate statues and flag and I have to admit, I had to search for my own personal opinion.
Not that it matters, except that I really don’t like apathy and lately, it seems I have subscribed to it. So, as I delve closer to the retirement path, I’ve done some reading… from books…. real books. I visited a library and found several books with hard backs, comfy paper and black typed words. I can do that now.
Admittedly, I’ve skimmed them, picking and choosing my paragraphs (at least I’m honest about it) and here’s what I’ve concluded about myself.
I love statues for their art.
I am intrigued at the story of others lives.
Artists and those laborers who assisted, poured their heart, blood, sweat and muscle into the very core of those projects. They are mostly beautiful to behold and intricate in detail. Every mouth, hoof and eye are painstakingly designed and formed. Every pedestal is planned, chiseled and completed to meet the display need.
In full disclosure, I am a 4th generation, direct descendant of a Confederate officer.
I am in agreement that if the offensive statues and monuments were placed there in hate… they should be removed in love. Peacefully, with a purpose, in order to teach the promise of love. Rather than destroy beautiful pieces of art, plan their appropriate removal. House them properly and use them to teach our future generations.
Those that were placed in the early years after the war, honoring the services of those who did what their hearts deemed right, are heartwarming tributes to a difficult time for everyone. The marble monument stands to remind me that my relative was brave enough to stand for his belief when the call to action was sounded. I didn’t know him, and didn’t know his opinions. What I know is that he and the others in the small community felt compelled to serve. He wasn’t apathetic and as far as I can tell, not wealthy or of a particularly high rank in his community until his valor and service deemed him suitable for advancement.
Similar instances have occurred throughout our lives.
Vietnam war memorials have been erected and are enjoyed by millions, prompting patriotism and honor for lost family members and community acquaintances. One day, someone will declare them a tragedy because of the atrocities that occurred and destroy the beautiful tributes to a difficult time.
Each war is strenuous for its citizens. No war should be forgotten, regardless of the unfavorable sufferings and sorrow of its’ citizens. I would hope my great-grandchildren could have a peaceful way to learn and observe what can happen when the country must exude force.
This part of transitioning to retirement is an important surprise to me. I have found so much more news and not all of it is hate-filled. But to find the great stories on heroes and everyday good… once must look beyond the obvious outlets. While the streets are crowded with protesters, demonstrators (both loud and peaceful) and the skylight above is dimming from the nearing eclipse, I can only hope and pray that someone, somewhere will see the true value in the art… and use it wisely.
I wonder about your opinion.