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A Retired Colonel Takes on the Rewriting of American History (Opinion)

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Some of you are familiar with Lt. Colonel Steve Hyle as a frequent guest on Top Story on Newsradio 1310, KLIX."it seems that more and more of our citizens have become so over sensitized, so myopic and so lacking in intestinal fortitude that they now can be traumatized by something that happened even before they were born?"

Steve was the Administrator of the Shuttle Challenger Commission, worked for two U.S. Presidents and was, for a time, the Executive Officer for the Air Force Thunderbirds.  He sent me an e-mail about his disgust with the toppling on monuments in his adopted Southern Delaware.  With his permission, I’m posting his remarks:

In Tuesday’s edition of our local newspaper, two individuals wrote venting their ire on the existence of the Obelisk on the grounds of the Georgetown Historical Society. The point of their ire was that it’s a reminder of a dark period in the history of our country. I maintain such reminders are essential. The two writers, and so many others of the same mind set, should look at such reminders from a different perspective.

The Civil War and slavery were not the only “bad” elements of America’s history, good, bad or indifferent. But, it seems that more and more of our citizens have become so over sensitized, so myopic and so lacking in intestinal fortitude that they now can be traumatized by something that happened even before they were born? We are becoming a nation of weaklings, rather than realists, strong-minded and strong-willed people.

 

Over our history, Americans have burned witches, slaughtered Indians, stole their land, and by all rights their country. Let us not forget that we took away the homes and businesses and incarcerated thousands of Japanese citizens, old and young alike, during World War II. Reminders and symbols of these atrocities are everywhere today in America. Many are tourist attractions. Where is the hand wringing, soul searching and mass trauma attached to these dark periods in America’s history?

 

There is no hue and cry to eliminate or rewrite the history of these events. They happened. For better or worse, they are collectively who we are, just as is slavery and the Civil War. Taking down or hiding statues or other symbols we find offensive, or allegedly racist, is not going to change one iota the fact that the Civil War and slavery happened. Now, to add further to the lunacy, there are now those who want to demonize Christopher Columbus, who never actually set foot on what is now American soil.

 

The better question might be, is it not perhaps just as important and wise that we retain and recognize reminders of our flawed past, so that history doesn’t repeat itself? I say deal with the bad and the ugly, grow up, and celebrate the good because no one can change what has already transpired in America, nor should we.

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