Andersonville: (n) a village in southwestern Georgia that was the site of a large and infamous Confederate prison camp during the Civil War.
The Civil War was our holocaust.
Actually, little will be achieved in this country until we universally accept this statement as true.
The Civil War is when we took a race of people, segregated them, mistreated them and then ended up fighting a war which included in its pursuits the decision to continue that same practice indiscriminately.
We murdered, created new weapons to increase the casualties and took brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers and placed them at odds with each other, continually making a “Sophie’s Choice” within the boundaries of households.
- It was horrific.
- It was unnecessary.
- It was short-sighted.
And when you add in the treatment given to fellow-Americans as prisoners of war–on both sides–you have almost an identical parallel to many of the atrocities that were perpetuated in Nazi Germany.
It is our humiliation.
It is a war we should study because we need to make sure that in our present dealings, that none of the ignorance that brought about the massacre and slaughter can be welcomed again.
We need to put away all the trumpets, banners and paraphernalia from that conflict into a trunk and bury it in the ground with a ceremony of repentance.
There is nothing from that period of time that is worthy of our praise, let alone our consideration.
I admire the German people because they look on the horror of their own recent history and refuse to repeat it–by making sure the only reference to it is an apology.
To live in a country that still refers to “Yankees and “Rebs,” “North and South,” “Union and Confederate” with a sense of regional pride is an abomination to our belief in all men being created equal.
The Andersonville prison was a location where the anger, frustration and evil that had been perpetuated for three centuries was brought to bear and turned into a living hell.
But the Civil War was not noble.
It was not good.
It was not brave.
It is our holocaust–and because it is, we should reverence those who suffered and pledge to never repeat such foolish iniquity again.
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