I’m not an American Civil War buff. To be honest, I have never attended a re-enactment of any of the battles. An past time that is widespread in the Southern American States.
Yet, the remnants of the struggle are impossible to avoid.
Today, my son asked me what was a memorial. He was talking about a war memorial we walked past by on our way to church last Sunday. It was an impressive building erected for the remembrance of those who had lost their lives in battles.
There its marble facade bears the following message from the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson. It reads,
“AMERICA IS PRIVILEGED TO SPEND HER BLOOD AND HER MIGHT FOR THE PRINCIPLES THAT GAVE HER BIRTH AND HAPPINESS AND THE PEACE WHICH SHE HAS TREASURED.”
I disagree with the nationalistic and militaristic undermining of the statement and believe that there is much blood that America has spent which was not hers to begin with.
The above picture is touching to me and illustrate the point I made above. As I was scouting the city for better locations to make photographs, I stoped at Fort Negley. This was the site one amongst many in which blood was shed in this town.
The power of the picture lies on the imagery of a group of decedents of the slaves central to the struggle in the Civil War. Waring military garbs and praying below the flag at half staff.
See, America has spent blood and might for its principles. Yet I fail to see that the forces driving such pain and loss have anything to do with the principles of America’s birth or happiness, or even peace.
I wish it was that simple. Unfortunately, it is much more complex. And in the midst of this complexity America continues, Nashville prospers, and we march on. Just like the strong men and women I was so privileged to witness that day.