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  • Tom Boyd

Statues and War Memorials

Not all statues and “war memorials” should be treated the same and not all of them should be removed.

“War” Memorials NOVEMBER 6, 2018 / BOYD & NICHOLAS Blog

I visited Hillsboro, Texas in September to play in the 2018 Texas Armed Forces and Military Veterans Open Chess Tournament. In the old town on the courthouse lawn is a memorial statue to honor the confederate veterans “in grateful and loving memory of the soldiers of the southern confederacy” erected in 1925.

I am not in favor of removing, destroying, vandalizing, or tearing down the statues erected to honor or acknowledge the many dead and those who served in the American Civil War. An estimated 620,000 men lost their lives in the line of duty (over 7 million in today’s population), more than died in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined.

While visiting East Germany I saw a number of graveyards with German and Russian dead and memorials to both. It could be stated that all of them died fighting for evil; be it Hitler or Stalin. They died for their country and fighting against what they viewed as an enemy or greater evil. Few, if any, contributed to setting the policies or making the decision for war. Germany has memorials and statues honoring the dead of both world wars and they rightfully have none honoring Hitler or the Nazis.

Some of the statues are honoring the confederate dead. They honor the men and not the war. They honor comrades not the cause. In the futility of war, men fight and die for their buddies and their loved ones. They may actually die due to government policy and decisions but in heart and spirit they die for others.

I will not dispute that the Civil War was about slavery –

No one today doubts that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (the Wall in DC) honors service members who fought in the Vietnam War and died in service. In 150 years will our descendants may be wanting to bury The Vietnam Memorial because they view it as a “war” memorial to an unwarranted war?

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