I am deeply, deeply offended by the raising of the monument in South Stormont to Canadians who fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. (While I understand it’s meant to honour those who fought for the Union as well, it’s the link to the Confederacy that I find so troubling.)
As the descendant of a military family whose father, grandfather and others put their lives on the line to defend Canada, I am offended that we are celebrating those who fought to support a government with policies that ran counter to our own (which, at the time, were British).
As a historian, I am offended by the characterization that the American Civil War was, and I am quoting from the Wed., Sept. 20 edition of The Chesterville Record, “…one of the most important events in Canadian history…” That is high praise, indeed, for a war that was not our own. Characterizing it as such cheapens the sacrifices that our brave men and women made at Dieppe, Beaumont-Hamel and Vimy Ridge, to name just three events that are actually classified by historians as important to Canada’s national heritage. Until this morning, I had never heard the American Civil War described as such.
As a Canadian, I am offended by any effort that honours the Confederacy. While the American Civil War was a complex conflict with multiple causes and effects, in 2017, it is widely understood that those in power in the South at the time wished to preserve a way of life that was built on the backs of slaves. These are not our values now, they were not our values then, and I refuse to claim Canadian-kinship with anyone who seeks to honour those who fought to protect them.
As a human being, I am offended. At a time when good men and women are protesting, being arrested and being murdered in America to remove public recognition and honour for the Confederacy, we’re raising monuments to it here. Shame on anyone who participates in that act.
The LVHS and Grays and Blues are private groups who can do as they please. But I expect better from our public representatives, Mr. Lauzon. You should be ashamed that you align yourself with these groups; you should be ashamed of yourself for feeling it was an “honour to be present at the unveiling” of the monument; you should be ashamed of yourself for not vehemently speaking out against it. I would like confirmation from you, Sir, that no public money went into the creation of the monument, nor do they go to the Lost Villages Museum where the monument can be found – if they did/do, as one of your constituents, I ask that the groups behind the monument be asked to refund the money they received, and that the monument be removed from a location my tax dollars supports, or that public funds be withheld from the Museum until it is.
Elise Guest, Chesterville