(13th Annual Gettysburg Banquet of the J.E.B. Stuart Camp, SCV, Philadelphia)
****How Should 21st Century Americans Think about the War for Southern Independence? ****
We human beings are peculiar creatures, half angel and half animal, as someone has said.
Alone among creatures we have a consciousness of ourselves, of our situation, and of our movement through time. We have language, and by symbols can communicate knowledge to one another and across generations.
We can learn something about humans from the Divine Revelations in the Bible. We can also learn something by scientific examination of our physical selves. But most of what we know about human beings is in our knowledge of the past. As a philosopher puts it: we must live forward but we can only think backward. I am, of course, making a plea for the importance of history, or to be more exact, historical memory, something that is undergoing catastrophic destruction today in the United States.
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