Those four words invoke a thousand images: rows of crosses on foreign shores, a kneeling Marine in dress blues handing a folded flag to a small boy, a uniformed man with no legs saluting as the flag goes by in a parade.
That’s where the mind goes, and with good reason. A lot of good men and women have fought and died to preserve our freedom, and we should honor that sacrifice. There are those who will scoff, saying things like “fighting for oil” and the “military-industrial complex” — but that’s not disagreeing; we need to make absolutely certain that, in the future, we never go to war for less than a righteous cause, or we dishonor the price that will be paid.
Worthy though that sentiment is, however, that’s not what I came here to say today.
In Easton, Pennsylvania stands a massive monument to the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. There’s a central column seventy-five feet high surmounted by a statue of a bugler. Around the base are granite statues, plaques, plinths, and a fountained moat. It is massive, ugly, surprisingly tasteless, and dedicated to the honored dead.
And nobody is agitating to have it pulled down.
From Baltimore to Texas, all across the South, monuments to the soldiers (more…)