Why Lee statue should remain
6/18/2020, 6 p.m.
I am aghast at the performance of Gov. Ralph S. Northam. He has ordered the removal of and permitted the desecration of the statue of Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue by a rowdy mob of anarchists.
The governor may not distort and obliterate the history of the United States of America. He may not remove the memory of honorable men who are a significant part of her history and Virginia’s history.
When the Civil War was finally over, Gen. Lee, a good and godly man, a dedicated, care-giving son to his frail and ailing mother and, later, to his wife in deeply declining health, and a faithful father, was revered not only throughout the South, but also among many Americans of the Northern states.
When Gen. Lee became president of Washington College (later Washington and Lee Uni- versity) in Lexington, he supported reconciliation between the North and the South. He accepted “the extinction of slavery” provided for by the 13th Amendment, but opposed immediate racial equality for African-Americans.
Gen. Lee supported a system of free public schools for black people, but forthrightly opposed allowing them to vote, yes, evidence of an im- perfect morality. His reason: “My own opinion is that, at this time, they (black Southerners) cannot vote intelligently, and that giving them the (vote) would lead to a great deal of demagogism, and lead to embarrassments in various ways.”
I implore my fellowAmericans to look beyond a superficial and grossly incomplete picture that most people have of this man, this hero, this American, who made error—as we all do—but who rose again to bring Americans back together.
Peter failed the Lord three times at a most crucial time. Our Lord gave Peter the keys to His earthly kingdom. Is this not a lesson we can learn and adhere to?
Please, let us live with charity in our hearts. Let us not, in the heat of this moment, allow a form of blindness and anger to obliterate important historical elements of America’s history.
Do not tear down the memory of Robert E. Lee.
ROBERT DALE LYNCH
Prince William County