Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"How Obama should remember the Confederacy ..." Ed Sebesta in the "Washingtonian"

The article is here:

The title is "A War to Remember - but How?: How Obama should remember the Confederacy as the 150th anniversary of the Civil War approaches" and is by Cragg Hines.

From the article:

The President may need all the historical understanding he can muster as the nation begins to mark the Civil War’s 150th anniversary next spring and our first African-American chief executive becomes a focus.

For Obama to take a leading role in commemorating the Civil War “is what Americans expect—it’s what the world expects,” says Frank Smith, founding director of DC’s African American Civil War Memorial & Museum. But as McDonnell’s misstep illustrated, politicians had best proceed carefully when dealing with a war that many historians see as the most divisive—and decisive—time in the nation’s development.

“It’s not only appropriate but necessary for the President to recognize it in a relatively forceful way,” says S. Waite Rawls III, president of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond.

Obama already knows the sort of controversy that can flare up. Over the protest of academics, he has continued the tradition of sending a Memorial Day wreath to the Confederate Monument at Arlington Cemetery. His response to complaints was also to send one to the African American Civil War Memorial on DC’s U Street.

For those wishing to read the 2009 and 2010 letters to Obama requesting him not to send a wreath to the Arlington Confederate Monument you can read them at this blog.

The individual letters are at these URLs:

For 2009:

For 2010:

There is a 2011 letter that is in progress and there will be a questionnaire sent to all the potential presidential candidates for the 2012 election.

The questionnaire is online here:

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