As a pacifist and antiwar protester who left the South years ago for political reasons, I was deeply moved to learn of the Confederate cemetery right near my home in Madison. To me it seemed an act of peace and magnanimity after the Civil War to recognize the tragedy of the war and valiant effort of the soldiers.
We can think of these men as mostly farm boys fighting for their region, to the extent that they had any choice. The tribute I saw as a rare act of kindness by the descendants of the victors toward their former enemies in battle. The Southerners' cause was unjust, but the same could be said of soldiers in other wars. It was an act of kindness for the city to let the Southern lady and others set up a memorial to these victims of war and of capture as prisoners of war, and I think we should leave it at that.
Katherine van Wormer
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