Arlington National Cemetery
This cemetery is on the estate of Robert E. Lee, an abolitionist, a gentleman, and one of the greatest generals of all time.
His estate was chosen as a reminder and rebuke of what terrible carnage occurs when good and talented men choose to support the wrong (but popular) side, out of misplaced loyalty.
We forgot this lesson. And what a terrible price we (and the world) are paying because of it.
Describing Lee as an abolitionist is a bit of a stretch.
By 21st century standards, yes. But not by 1860s Confederate standards.
I beg to differ. This is not to say that your point about the cemetary is any less poignant, or that Lee was any less of a “gentleman” or a great military leader.
There were southern abolitionists, to be sure, but I doubt any one can be classified as a Confederate abolitionist.
Lee, like most southern Christian slave-owners who felt any sort of ambivalence regarding their position as oppressors, allowed himself to believe that black people benefitted from the so-called Christian morals their slaves were bestowing upon them. He kind of chalked it up to the idea that God was testing the slaves, and only when God was good and ready would slavery be abolished. Sure, he seems to have felt kind of shitty about the whole thing, but I don’t really think he deserves a prize for that.
I mean no disrespect to you. It just seems that your deliberate positioning of Lee as an abolitionist even before “gentleman” and one of the greatest generals ever is kind of an apologia for admiring the guy, and it’s not necessary in my opinion. Voltaire was an anti-Semite, I’ve heard. I still think he was brilliant, regardless of the fact that he was a bigot.
I accept abolitionist was putting it too strongly.
As an American military man, I was surprised when I went to Arlington National Cemetary last week that I didn’t feel any sorrow? I didn’t feel anything at all. Does this make me coldhearted?