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Letter: Move on from incomplete history, work together toward improvement

My grandfather was in the Civil War. My father’s father, William Washington Thomas, was born near Rocky Mount in 1852. When he was 12 years old, he left home to join the Confederate Army as a drummer boy.

Although my grandfather died before I was born, I grew up hearing the retelling of his stories of the War of Northern Aggression. I was told of the heroic sacrifices that he and other family members made to ensure our liberty and freedom. My family was very proud to be descendants of the Confederacy. 

Some of my friends still speak of their sincere love of this heritage. But many of my friends have a very different heritage. 

Slavery was never a part of the heroic war sagas I heard from my father’s lap. But regardless of whether or not rebel soldiers or their families owned slaves, all who fought against the United States of America in the Civil War were fighting to ensure the continuation of slavery in the South. This is the truth of the Civil War that my family never talked about. It’s the history I was never taught. The “states’ rights” the Confederacy fought for was the right to own another human being. 

You may choose to see only an angel holding a fallen soldier when you look at Salisbury’s Confederate memorial, “Fame,” but a war to justify and enforce slavery is what is being celebrated. 

I am very proud that the Salisbury City Council did what the citizens of Salisbury elected them to do and reached a unanimous solution for the relocation of Fame. The statue will be placed in a dignified and honorable location among the graves of those who fought for the Confederacy.  This is the right thing to do. Now it’s time to move on and work together to improve the lives of all our citizens. 

— Mary Frances Edens

Salisbury

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