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There is a lot of talk about the human flaws and revolting prejudices of our many of our nation’s founders and historical figures. The critical question is whether we should venerate them for their contributions to our nation or take them down from pedestals for their revolting prejudice and actions. This is not an easy discussion with only two or three sides because life, people, and times are not clearly divided into good, bad, and neutral. It is important that the full character of our nation’s founders and heroes is part of our history, good and bad, achievements and failures. After George Floyd was killed, people began to discuss and take down the statues and monuments of civil war confederate leaders. Those leaders were traitors who declared war against the United States for the purpose of succession and preserving their slave economy.

In the American Civil War, more than 11,000 Iowans were wounded, 3,000 died, and 28 received the Medal of Honor. Memorials to confederate leaders not only honor traitors but are painful and visual reminders of slavery and oppression for African American citizens. The confederacy lost the war. What other nation allows symbols, monuments, and statues of the loosing side on public lands?

Author: Marti Anderson