Letter: Statues don’t represent who we are as Americans

Editor,

As a white “Boomer” male, I’m heartened to see young women and men rise up and tear down Confederate statues. These actions are reminiscent of a group that tore down a statue of King George III in 1776.

People with the same political leanings who opposed the action 244 years ago are now upset at the recent topplings.

Why erect statues in the first place? They are a relic from the”old countries,” where representations of kings and other aristocracy who lorded over the masses were put in prominent places. That’s not who we are as Americans.

This form of statuary is idolatry and has no place in a Christian nation. Statues aren’t needed to teach us history; a plaque says more than any statue ever could, and we have public libraries, museums, textbooks and the Internet to fill out our shared history. A statue of a dead general with a sword tells us more about the people who erected the statue than about the person depicted.

I cannot comprehend this endless pathological veneration of individuals. Your child i8s just as important as Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or Barack Obama. give me Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man over God Save the Queen any day.

The same sentiment applies to the names of military installations. If bases must be named for people, then I nominate Tecumseh, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Geronimo and Chief Joseph, either in English or their original language names. They were skilled military leaders with more competence than some of those inept Confederate generals.

For the record, I oppose erecting statues of Geronimo and other Native Americans listed.

In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Let the dead past bury its dead.”

The future is infinitely more important than the past. Statues of individuals are unAmerican. I look forward to the next toppling by today’s young patriots.

Steve Ellis

Coupeville

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