Dear Editor:

Kentucky has removed the statue of Jefferson Davis from the state Capitol building at a great cost, both monetarily and historically.

As you know, this removal is a response from current pressure to eliminate history with the hope that it will be forgotten. By doing this, Kentucky has lost a unique educational opportunity to compare and contrast the war years.

This was one of the only places in America where monuments of both presidents of the Civil War stood together. Their stories, when told together, taught us the entire story of the war. By allowing us to learn the facts, both good and bad, we are able to make our own decisions about these two men. Davis is now gone and will be forgotten. Kentucky can now embrace only Abraham Lincoln and one side.

Jefferson Davis’ 52 years serving the United States of America as representative, senator and secretary of war are erased. Kentucky has chosen to use the one day that Davis was elected president of the Confederate State of America as the lens to erase all of his accomplishments.

Today, there is an urgent need for teaching and understanding our history and we need to use any and all available avenues to get this information disseminated. Hopefully, Kentucky will hold on to the entirety of its rich history in the future. Without this effort, history will be lost. 

Let us not forget, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” — George Santayana.

Bertram Hayes-Davis

Great-great-grandson of Jefferson Davis

Vicksburg, Mississippi

 

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