Why Commemorate the Civil War?


Recently on The American Catholic, the other blog I write for, one of our frequent commenters, Joe Green, disputed my interest in marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War:

This is what we call in the news business “the anniversary story.” As if there is something special about the number 150, as opposed to 149, which passed last year without notice, and next year when it will be a non-news story.

Sorry, Don, to be the skunk at the garden party, but other than a round number, what is there to celebrate, commemorate or otherwise observe, other than to dredge up a terrible time in our nation’s history that saw 600,000 Americans killed in a needless, yes, needless conflict that might have been avoided with a peaceful solution?

Were the South to have had its way and seceded, perhaps two separate nations would have carved out different and better destinies because in the end what we have now is a nation just as divided politically on any number of issues and a civil war of a different kind. No shooting — yet, but where is the unity that Mr. Lincoln said was vital to standing rather than falling?

As a veteran, it’s more than sufficient that there are special holidays a year to remember those who sacrificed for the cause of freedom. Further reminders of our bloody history are superfluous, IMHO, but I realize I am in the vast minority because, guaranteed, it will be on every TV news show tonight.

I responded as follows: (more…)

Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)