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(Martin O’Toole, The Abbeville Institute) Delivered at the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial Park for the Confederate Memorial Day remembrance held April 30, 2022.
Thank you for taking time today to consider the deeds and lessons of our long-dead ancestors.
When Confederate commemoration began, it was a memorial to people who were known to those living. Today, it is unlikely that there is a person here who knew an actual Confederate veteran. The last verified Confederate veteran died in 1951.
In a way, that is a greater compliment to you than those who were acquainted with those soldiers, sailors and marines who served the Confederacy in its brief, brilliant career. You love the ancestors you never knew and study their struggles and sacrifices.
But, not outside the memory of many of those present today, was a time when the national culture embraced and venerated the Confederate experience.
Today that American culture is shifting – and not in favor of remembrance. Celebrations and memorial services such as this one are met more and more with not mere indifference, but with outright hostility…
Read the rest at the Abbeville Institute