With all due respect to the reader who equates Confederate monuments to the Nazi death camps and the Normandy cemeteries, there is a distinction between celebrating the past and coming to terms with it [“Confederate Monuments Remind Us of Our History,” June 24, Xpress].
The preserved death camps of Dachau and Terezin were intended as chilling reminders of a past no one wants to repeat. They represent Germany’s atonement. In fact, German law prohibits memorials to Nazi leaders, whereas in America, we raise celebratory obelisks and heroic statues of individuals who were openly racists and raised arms against their own country.
The First Amendment may protect such memorials, but basic human decency demands their removal. The time is long overdue for America to reckon with its past, just as Germany has. We need to cease extolling false narratives, ignoring past transgressions and defending those who championed one of humanity’s most deplorable institutions. Only then can we, as a nation, truly heal.
— David Russell