I have written here before about my heritage. Some of my ancestors were Union enlisted men who fought and some died in the Civil War. My family has always payed great homage to Abraham Lincoln and how he saved this country from those who would have destroyed this country because they wanted to own other human beings.
Those who would argue that the Civil War was about “states rights” and not slavery should read the secession proclamations of the various Confederate states. For example, Mississippi stated in the second paragraph of its declaration:
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world.
Against this backdrop, some in this country have celebrated the Confederacy since the war ended. Much of this celebration of Confederate soldiers was actually directed at trying to rewrite this history. Recently, many towns and cities across the south have finally decided that this rewriting of history and celebrating those who took up arms against the United States to defend slavery and human bondage can no longer be justified. One of the clearest and most forceful statements about this legacy is the speech given this week by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Here is his speech in its entirety. Bravo Mayor Landrieu!!!
Better that we remember Lincoln’s statement of judgment on the nation for slavery, and his hope for healing the wounds that slavery and that war left on the nation:
Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural