On Lee-Jackson Day

Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.
Robert E. Lee

Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. Captain, that is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.
Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson

As Virginia commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, we come once again to that controversial holiday known as Lee-Jackson Day. The day was named by by Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

It is important to remember the war, and the past. For far too long Virginia and her sister states attempted to cast this history in the glow of some sort of Gone With the Wind romantic fantasy. It was nothing of the kind. It was an ugly time for our nation. Others will disagree with my notion that slavery was A cause, but not THE cause. While it is difficult for some to understand that the majority of those fighting for the South did so out of a love for their homeland. We won’t get into the fact that racism was just as prevalent in the North.

Lee-Jackson Day was a state holiday in Virginia before that same Monday became known as the federal Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. For while, Virginia celebrated the awkwardly named Lee-Jackson-King Day. That is until then Governor Jim Gilmore introduced legislation to make it a four-day weekend for state workers naming Friday as Lee-Jackson Day and retaining Monday as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Lee and Jackson remain favorite sons of Virginia. Some would erroneously portray them as traitors. But they were loyal to their home state, a concept lost in the growth of federalism that we were United States. Lee and Jackson fought with honor for a losing cause, a cause that was wrong. Given time, I think all of the South would have realized slavery was wrong. But Lee and Jackson fought for their homeland with honor and integrity.

Sadly, slavery was eliminated in the United States, but not around the world. Millions of people live as modern day slaves, some economic slaves, some sex slaves.

Rather than debate the good or evil of the Confederacy, justice would be better served to fight against modern day slavery.

To join in the fight against modern day slavery, visit these links.

Frederick Douglass Family Foundation

Not for Sale Campaign

Somaly Man Foundation


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