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Do not destroy Confederate monuments

"Black Lives Matter" is written in yellow on the base of the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument that once resided on Mount Royal Avenue in Baltimore. It was removed in 2017 and still sits in storage.
"Black Lives Matter" is written in yellow on the base of the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument that once resided on Mount Royal Avenue in Baltimore. It was removed in 2017 and still sits in storage. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

Don’t destroy the Confederate statues (“No rush to find homes for Baltimore’s Confederate monuments,” Sept. 27). They could be used as teachable moments on the fragility of our democracy. On the entrance to the Maryland State House in Annapolis, I would like to see a bronze statue of Frederick Douglass on the left and the preserved statue of Chief Justice Taney on the right. If it were not for Frederick Douglass taking a speaking tour in England as a fugitive runaway slave, it is quite possible that England might have joined an alliance with the South during our Civil War.

Inside our State House, we are expected to revere the place where General George Washington gave up his command after the American Revolution. Why is there no mention of the most critical speech he ever gave, which prevented a military coup d'état of our new democracy? I would like to see the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson placed on the Antietam battlefield where these two remarkable military strategists, who knew how to use the new technologies of railroads and telegraph, prevented the incompetents, George B. McClellan and Ambrose E. Burnside (who also should have statues), from easily winning a strategic battle. The two even had a copy of General Lee’s plans.

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Perhaps there should also be meadows of three-inch concrete markers, some gray and some blue, for each man who died at Antietam. If our democracy is to continue, it needs to get beyond its habit of treating our history like room-temperature pablum.

Jack Reilly, Baltimore

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