I remember back in November (busy time of year for me and didn’t get a chance to discuss it) when former MSNBC host of The Countdown with Keith Olbermann, proposed the question, Why would the any state want to celebrate the Civil War?
“The 150th anniversary of, you know, treason and defense of servitude and murder and suicide, billed as a joyous night of fun, dancing, food and drink… Don’t forget the silent slave auction.”
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, treasonous secession that started the Civil War and was the direct result of slavery, happy birthday to you.”
“And as part of the continuing historical revisionism that tries to claim the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery, the secession celebrations have begun. Yay, treason, yay.”
The thing about Olbermann is, you have to know when he is being, well Olbermann… Anyway.
However, it is an interesting question. With the Sesquicentennial, how do we remember the war?
The debates will rage about the cause(s) of the Civil War, could the South have won, why did the North win, ect. There are also heated discussion over who fought, why they fought, and why some didn’t fight? The motives and the experiences!
So, should we “celebrate” the event? The question’s answer seems obvious to me, nothing to celebrate. Olbermann was right, as much as it pains me to say that, the Civil War was a tragedy and the institution of slavery was as well. No balls, banquets or dinner parties, please. Remember it, study it and learn from it. Let’s not break down the nuances of the word “celebrate,” we know what the word stands for. We should not remember the Civil War like we “celebrate” the 4th of July, right?
But it seems I am in the minority here, do a simple Google search for the Civil War and Celebration and the results are troubling! Lots of Celebrating going on! Oh well…