CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL CEREMONY IN ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Greetings, Southern Compatriots. I thought you might be edified by this excerpt from the speech by Ronald F. Maxwell, producer-director of Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. Mr. Maxwell gave the keynote address at Sunday’s (June 7) Confederate Memorial ceremony and commemoration of the birth of Jefferson Davis, held at the Confederate monument and burial ground at Arlington National Cemetery. His reference in paragraph two is to a May 18 letter signed by 40-some Leftist professors which denigrated this annual commemoration held since 1914, and slandered all of us who seek to preserve the memory of the valor and self-sacrifice of our Confederate forebears.
– Thomas Moore, Chairman
Confederate Memorial Committee of the District of Columbia
“We cannot wish our ancestors away, nor should we. In the act of designing and erecting these monuments and statues they are telling us what was important to them in their time. By leaving for us, their progeny, a record in stone, they are expressly calling upon us, their grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren to remember.
Shall we do as the professors who signed the letter to our president asked him to do – shall we heap scorn upon these monuments and chastise those who will not? Should we do as their doctrinaire kin in Afghanistan did? Shall we, like the Taliban, destroy our statues with dynamite because they offend a prevailing dogma? Shall we disinter the bones of our ancestors like the radical Jacobins of the French Revolution did, scattering their unearthed remains to the winds – first to be reviled, then ever to be forgotten?
Unless we’re prepared to tear down every statue and monument in America we must instead take stock. What are these statues? Who cared so much to place them in the village green, the town square or the local cemetery? Instead of behaving like censorious cultural commissars or inquisitorial accusers, can we not instead meditate on their meaning for our country and in our own lives? Can they not be seen as invitations of rediscovery, of sacred places set aside in the quiet corners of our lives, for communion with our ancestors – for a portal to understanding who they were and who we are?”