Are all Confederate Monuments and Memorials Offensive?

I did. I didn’t see anything that talked about Americans burying Germans with honors.

Some of you might find the very last section of this Wikipedia article interesting.

Then you did not read-It contains the graves of 10,913 German servicemen from the Battle of the Bulge in winter 1944 and spring 1945. Of these, 5,599 were buried by the American war graves service during the war;

Who or what is the “American War Graves Service?”

I’m familiar with the German version of that, but it’s a private charity, not a government entity. We’re also talking about less than 6,000 soldiers.

A minor correction; Stone Mountain was originally intended to be carved by Borglum, but his start on it was eventually blasted off and the monument was actually carved by Henry Augustus Lukeman. Borglum then went on to carve Mount Rushmore.

This is not to say Borglum wasn’t just as detestable as you hint at; he did indeed develop ties to the KKK, and it was only friction between himself and the Stone Mountain organizers that caused him to leave the project.

Relevant tweet;

So, just to be clear, it includes all soldiers who joined any side in any war so long as they originally come from this county? If so, does that mean that if some misguided kid ran off to join ISIS or the Taliban and got himself killed, they’d put his name on the monument? If not, what’s the difference between people who hate America so much that they took up arms against it, and the Taliban?

As stated, many Confederate soldiers were drafted. Americans who joined the Taliban were not.

I don’t know the answer to the part of your post that I didn’t quote.

As opposed to - growing their own crops? I mean, it’s not like a lot of factory workers were laid off at the start of the war or anything.

Oh, right, I forgot they were all tied up and incapable of any other action before they were shoved into uniform.

False dilemma, it’s a fallacy for a reason.

“Yes”, “Hundreds to thousands of years, depending on which part of my family you mean”, “Yes, although I didn’t specify armed rebellion for the Southerners anyway”, and “Why would we?” for the first 4 questions. When you come up with any other specific irrelevant tu quoque attempts, do ask away.

If you read that whole cite, there’s also this:

Not exactly “burial with honors”. It’s pretty extraordinary in wartime to even identify enemy soldiers at burial, much less give them any honors. In fact, in WW2 even a lot of friendlies went into mass graves and were never recovered. Resources are stretched thin, the priority is to take care of corpses as a sanitary concern. It’s easier to dump them all in a trench and let someone else sort it out later, and that’s historically what happened in the most challenging parts of the war.

All of which is a side point to the fact that Confederates deserve no monuments whatsoever honoring them. They fought for an illegitimate separatist movement, many at gunpoint, and they lost. They may have had no choice, but that doesn’t exactly add to the honor.

At a minimum I’d support identifying bodies to the extent possible and returning them to their families to handle as they see fit. After all they are American, even if they pretended otherwise for a bit. But absolutely no military honors or glorification of what they did. The few Confederates buried at Arlington should be returned to their families in a box, or if no family is available, rebury them in a marked pauper’s grave where the homeless and whatnot are buried.

The Confederate memorial at Arlington should be destroyed, it has no place there or anywhere in America. Traitors shouldn’t be rewarded, honored, or glorified, ever. People need to know that if you join an illegitimate separatist insurrection, you get a bullet in your head, and you go home to your mother in a box with no medals, flags, or statues (if it’s convenient).

I can’t think of any that I don’t consider offensive. Even if you were drafted into the Confederate army, there’s no reason to memorialize you.

I was always irritated as hell by this dumbass monument. It was pretty transparently racist as hell. Erected in 1919, and had water fountains at the base of the columns. One had “White” engraved over it, and the other had “Colored”. Neither had worked in decades when I was living near it. Thankfully, it’s now gone.

I lol’d.

I have the utmost respect for those Southerners who did join the military of their nation to fight against the villainy of their neighbors. They clearly did the right thing. But that’s not what I expect of any of them. Those who merely hid from the press gangs and hoped the whole thing would end soon also did the right thing, and I can ask no more of them. But those who voluntarily went along with treason against their country and their state, for the sake of defending an evil institution, they did not do the right thing, and their actions are no more worthy of memorial than those of any other traitor.

I frequently describe the Confederate flag as our country’s largest and most enduring participation trophy. Just saying.

I wouldn’t see a problem, though, with a monument analogous to what the OP actually described, which your example is not. Suppose a little town in Germany had a monument that did not extol the virtues of the Nazi cause, but merely memorialized the sons of that town lost in the war? That seems okay to me.

Whatever the evils of their cause, German soldiers - most of them just guys, not Nazis - had families and their deaths were tragedies.

Consider the Vietnam War Memorial. The US is no Nazi Germany, but its cause in Vietnam was largely unjust and the government of the USA committed dreadful war crimes there and in Laos and Cambodia. Yet I do not find that memorial distasteful. It clearly exists not to glorify the war, but to remember the tens of thousands of Americans who died in it and left behind their loved ones.

War memorials don’t really exist to glorify the cause, though. It’s about honoring citizens who performed their duty when their country called. The country doesn’t always call for good or just reasons, but we answer its call nevertheless.

Confederates don’t have a claim to honor for heeding the call of duty. They didn’t serve a country because the Confederacy was no country, just an illegitimate splinter faction. They attacked their own country, killed their own countrymen, stole their property and destroyed their works. Even if it were the noblest cause in the world, that doesn’t matter; they betrayed their country.

I’ll stop short of condemning the rank-and-file because most had no choice to serve… but they deserve no honor or recognition. None whatsoever. A grave marker with their name, and nothing more. And the officers should be uniformly condemned. We should especially stop using military honorifics like “General” for Lee and similar leaders. Owing to being soundly defeated, they did not retire in rank, and their ranks were never legitimate because they were never promoted by any legitimate authority. They are simply disgraced criminal separatist leaders who never held any legitimate military rank after resigning their US Army commissions.

I doubt the several million people in southeast Asia killed by the USA care that the United States is a legitimate nation-state; that just seems a really thin line to put one memorial on one side and one on the other.

I would agree with not honoring Confederate leaders, of course. Proper memorials - like the Vietnam memorial - do not honor. They remember.

That’s why the Vietnam memorial is in DC and not in Ho Chi Minh City. We honor ours, they honor theirs.

I’ve been to memorial displays in Vietnam and it’s a lot more celebratory, which I found quite appropriate. Ours is a lot more subdued, which also is very appropriate.

There’s no appropriate memorial for Confederates. Whatever their motives, they became dishonorable criminals and traitors the moment they started working against the US. They deserve a marked grave with a tombstone like any other civilian, but zero military honor or recognition whatsoever.

No question that we shouldn’t be memorializing or honoring the Confederacy itself. But remembering the Confederate soldiers who died? Maybe not that either, but IMHO that’s not as clear-cut.