By Pat Stacey
It has been one-hundred-fifty years since the beginning of the Civil War – the war that tore our country apart.
No one living today was living while the Civil War was fought but many of the reasons that the Civil war was fought still exist today.
We have recently seen a controversy involving the flying of the confederate flag over the Anderson County Courthouse in Palestine. And not unexpectedly, feelings – strong feelings – were displayed.
The Confederate flag means different things to different people and in the South, we are reminded of the reasons why the Civil war was fought. The Sons of Confederate Soldiers want to honor those who fought and died from East Texas and there were thousands of young men who served and perished for the confederate cause.
But ,the Confederate flag also serves as a reminder for many of the tragedy of slavery. It may be packaged up as a states' rights issue but much of the emotion centers around slavery. I don't think we should discount the need to remember those that fought and served their cause in the Civil war no matter which side the fought for but, in this case, we should honor the individuals over the cause.
Our country's history is filled with honoring those that perished fighting in conflict – the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial comes to mind as the most prominent. We even have memorials to law enforcement individuals that have died in the line of duty. And the names deliver a powerful message and a fitting honor.
This issue won't go away any time soon but perhaps it will turn to focusing on remembering the individuals involved and that will make for a Better East Texas.