I spent some time this Memorial Day at the Confederate Cemetery in Fredericksburg. It was a glorious, bluebird day. The numerous spectators, by their respectful attention to the solemnity of the occasion, saluted the rows of Confederate battle flags that--at parade rest--flapped soothingly in the gentle breeze, as if caressing the tombstones of the stalwart soldiers by which they were lovingly placed.
While walking back to my car I stopped by a newspaper vending machine alongside the Free Lance-Star building to purchase that day's paper. When I got back to my farm I read the editorial on Memorial Day that your paper runs annually and thought how incongruous it was [" Memorial Day," May 27].
The editorial exemplified the amnesia and misplaced affection that permeates much of our beloved commonwealth. Rather than memorialize the vision of The Ladies' Memorial Association (organized on May 10, 1866) that was established for the sole purpose of honoring and caring for the graves of Confederate soldiers in Fredericksburg, or that of similar patriotic organizations in Petersburg and Richmond, the paper chose to single out Waterloo, New York, which did likewise later for Union soldiers. The editorial also highlighted the Grand Army of the Potomac, rather than our Army of Northern Virginia.
In short, the paper honored those who sacked Fredericksburg and represented the pernicious philosophy of a coercive union.
That editorial needs to be retired unceremoniously.