11 April 2015


April 10, 2015

One hundred and fifty years ago yesterday, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate Army to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. The Civil War was effectively over as a living experience. It immediately transitioned into memory.

For some Americans, the Civil War is almost a non-event, a non-memory. I, for instance, grew up in the Seattle area. For me and my public school classmates, the Civil War was something that happened long ago, far away, and to other people. Today, however, I live in “occupied Virginia,” right outside Washington, DC. Here, as an adult, it becomes obvious that the Civil War is in many ways an ongoing event for many Americans, particularly those who see the Civil War as the brutal destruction of a noble way of life. The Sons of Confederate Veterans case now before the Supreme Court is just the latest evidence of this.

No comments: