2017-09-07 / Letters

Writer Takes Sen. Casey to Task For Comments About Civil War Markers

Editors note: The following is a letter sent to Sen. Robert Casey regarding his purported statements as to the removal of Civil War historical markers locally in Fulton County. The “News” has not been able to find when or where his statement was made or find it in any press releases coming from his office. Senator Casey,

I wish to address your comments concerning the Civil War monuments in Fulton County. Those monuments do nothing to glorify the positions regarding the Southern sentiments of the 1860’s.

The monuments represent the sacrifice made by two Confederate soldiers on behalf of their beliefs at the time. The other monument defines a point and time when Confederate soldiers occupied an area of Fulton County. These monuments, with the flags associated with them serve as teaching and talking points of what was happening at the time, the tremendous costs of war, and how we as a nation have evolved. We can never change or erase history. To do so would allow the horrible repeat of those events.

The monuments across the nation, I believe, began to be erected and established under administrations of Democrats and Republicans alike. There were good men and women on both sides of the conflict. The Southern folks were engaged in slave ownership to help maintain their economy. The Northern folks felt at the time, as we do now, the ownership and treatment of humans was abhorrent. The problem as I see it, is that the Civil War has been portrayed as a war about slavery.

It was not so much about slavery as it was the idea a central government trying to take away the rights of the states to make decisions for themselves. We must not allow the radicalism of some to destroy the memories of what happened or the sacrifices made on both sides. Slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The things happening now are less about slavery and bigotry; but, it more about people looking for a reason to be destructive.

A statue or monument of a historical event or person does nothing to intimidate or cause alarm to people. An historical flag does not do that either. People do that! It is people who are causing the current tensions. I have a great great great uncle who is buried in New Bern National Cemetery. He was a Union soldier. My great great grandfather was a Calvary soldier for the Union. I am not a bigot, nor am I a supporter of the Southern cause, I am an American .

In conclusion, you were elected by the majority. It seems, however, you have chosen to represent a few who have added to the chaos of our world. Your comments regarding the monuments of Fulton County Pa are, in my humble opinion, uneducated, unwanted, and unnecessary.

Walter Lane, Jr.
McConnellsburg, Pa.

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