This Saturday, the upcoming 150th Anniversary of the
On that bloody Friday a century and a half ago, members of the Sixth
To be sure, the case can be made that this exclusion is historically accurate; there were no uniformed Confederate soldiers along Pratt Street on April 19, 1861. But might including the rebels this time around serve a higher purpose?
On Sunday's op-ed page, Leonard Pitts rightly weighed in on slavery as a primary cause of the war, but he then lost his focus when he equated secession with treason and wrongly vilified the state of
Yet what Mr. Pitts really does is to reinforce the unfortunate stereotype of African-Americans being more interested in their originations than their destinations. His typical references to Confederate flags flapping "from truck grills," "pigeon-stained statues of dead rebels," and the obligatory mention of Dixie and the
Fair enough. But Mr. Pitts makes no mention of the 99 percent of ex-Confederate veterans who never joined the KKK. Could it be they returned to the Union with higher allegiances — to their God and to America? Were they not primarily concerned with returning to their families after the war to rebuild their farms, businesses, churches and communities? Such citizens looked to the future, and to their sons and daughters who would answer when their country called.
Need an example? We rarely hear of the Army's 29th Division, the aptly named Blue and Gray Division whose members came from Virginia,
As Baltimore solemnly prepares to commemorate the first blood shed in "the late unpleasantness," most of us do not realize that the city that gave America its national anthem is now uniquely situated to bequeath the nation another gift.
It is not too late to invite the Boys in Gray to join the Boys in Blue for the Grand Procession up Pratt Street on Saturday. Make your own bit of history, Baltimore. Show the world in this moving, poignant example that America is indeed one, commemorating our tragic past but at the same time demonstrating that despite our differences and diversities, we have indeed "bound up the nation's wounds."