Why Lee Still Matters – Abbeville Institute

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(Stephen Davis, Abbeville Institute) In Richmond, there’s a movement afoot to rename the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge. At Charlottesville, a statue to the Confederate general was removed last year. In Abilene, Texas, Lee Park, named after the general, has been changed to that of a local football coach.

The list could go on and on, as we’ve all seen.

But let’s step back from all the dither. Remember George C. Scott, the star of Patton (1970)?

In 1976, the country’s Bicentennial year, NBC’s Today show featured, every Friday, a full two-hour program highlighting one of the fifty states. The show focusing on Virginia offered local scenery, historical highlights and personal glimpses.

Scott presented one of them. As backdrop for his monologue, Scott led a walking tour of the campus of Washington and Lee University in Lexington. As he did so, he talked about General Lee before entering the Chapel to stand beside Valentine’s famed recumbent statue.“

What are you and I supposed to learn from or feel about the world and the character of a man like R. E. Lee?” he asked. “He’s cold. We’re cool. He’s passe. We’re avant. He’s out of it. We’re up to here in it.”

“Well,” Scott continued, “there are…

Why Lee Still Matters – Abbeville Institute