Celebrating the Civil War?

We sometimes celebrate the outcomes of a war, a righteous victory, or perhaps a lamented defeat of something we stand for. That’s fine — but it is solemn, solemn rather than celebratory. Look at Independence days around the world; people celebrate their freedom, their independence, and give thanks and appreciation to those that made it possible. Sometimes, they erect statues in thanks to those who fought for something the value — honoring the sacrifice. But they don’t celebrate the war that was necessary for it to occur.

Human beings do not celebrate war. We do not celebrate sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice. War is tragedy, and if you celebrate it, you’re fundamentally confused about the value of human life. Celebrating the (perhaps necessary) death and destruction of war is unacceptable. Doing so would either be a sick “celebration” of death, or the result of a confusion reflecting a lack of thought and reflection on what is being celebrated.

When someone says they celebrate the south or their southern heritage, that’s wonderful. There is a rich culture and a history of excellence of various types worthy of celebration. But if they want to celebrate the Civil War or erect statues to the “heroes” of the Confederacy I am compelled to ask: what exactly are they celebrating?

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