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Erasing History | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

Erasing History

On July 1st 1863 Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia found itself outside the small south central PA village of Gettysburg, awaiting contact with the Union forces under Gen. George G. Meade. The battle raged for three days and would become a pivotal moment of the war. Ultimately, Lee’s forces were defeated and the Confederate Stars and Bars were forced from the field by the victorious Stars and Stripes. Now, 152 years later, another battle rages concerning the presence of the Confederate flag in Gettysburg. However this time, the battle is not about protecting the Union but to preserving its history.

Following the June 17th church shooting in Charleston S.C., pictures surfaced of the shooter displaying the Confederate flag. These images, combined with his claims of hoping to start a race war, have renewed an on again off again battle to remove this flag from many Southern state owned properties – including some State Houses. This time the argument has gained previously unseen support and multiple state legislative bodies are expected to vote on specific changes in the near future.

ConfederateI was not born in the South but I was stationed there numerous times so, although I do not have a personal stake in the battle for the Stars and Bars, I do understand why some would feel strongly about protecting what they see as a symbol of Southern Pride. I also understand how others could view this as the symbol of a rebellious nation which attempted to destroy the Union or supported slavery. Personally, I believe that this is a battle which should be fought in the individual states’ legal and legislative systems – and decided by those who actually LIVE in those states. However, when the battle involves National Military Parks such as Gettysburg, it becomes a fight which affects every American.

In a recent letter to staff and vendors of NMPs, including Gettysburg, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis stated:

“We strive to tell the complete story of America…All sales items in parks are evaluated based on educational value and their connection to the park. Any stand-alone depictions of the Confederate flags have no place in park stores.”

Regardless of how you view the Confederate flag, it is part of American history and, if visiting a NMP at a Civil War battle field, it is a vital aspect of telling both sides of that history.  If these flags are removed from NPS stores it would not be the first time the victors wrote history based upon its own view point, but that is not the American way. More importantly, if the Stars and Bars can be removed from Civil War memorials, what is to keep the Union Jack from being similarly removed from Revolutionary War memorials and battlefields?

America has a long and proud history of allowing all viewpoints to be expressed, even when offensive or contrary to the view many may hold. How can we expect to do any less when it comes to our own history?

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell

1 thought on “Erasing History

  1. good writing. Couldn’t say it in the polite way you did. If we allow our govt to erase the symbols of our history they will rewrite the words of the documents that define our history. When history is denied our future becomes a series of events of things we should already know, I call it the unachievable pursuit to utopia

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