Although I fully understand the reasons behind the current movement to destroy Civil War era statues and Monuments, if this should happen, there would be the potential for more harm to come out of the decision then good for future generations. Living outside of the military base in Grafenwoehr, Germany, while serving with the Seventh Army in the early 1970's, I had long talks with my landlady. She told me one thing in particular that still sticks with me today. Adult family members, along with schools and the German government, never let children and young adults forget about the war and shared with them the photographs and history of the holocaust and what led up to it, because "to forget the history of one's country is to become complacent," and to set the stage for the possibility of it happening again.

Monuments and statues of the players during that period of history were used as a vehicle to tell children about the horrors that those persons, like Hitler, had committed.

Taking down the confederate flag is one thing

The decision to remove the confederate flag from government buildings, courthouses, public buildings, churches, and schools made perfect sense since the flag has continued to be used by alt right groups and racists to perpetrate their message of hate The flag was also waved as a banner on vehicles, in yards, etc. The statuary and monuments spread across the southern states, however, are representative of the actual history of our country, although a much darker part of that history.

They are the men who led the battles during the Civil War and other Civil War era leaders. If everything were destroyed, it could weaken our ability to forever remember, and to make sure future generations remember and acknowledge that after everything those men did to try and suppress the freedom of African-Americans, and all the other immigrants who followed behind them, democracy prevailed.

The internet and online books are less handy for teaching children about our nation's past

There is so much more U.S. history that children now need to learn about in school, and therefore there is less comprehensive information being taught in schools because of the time allowed. With many school districts across the country seeing big cuts in state funding and with the possibility of school vouchers looming, history often falls by the wayside.

Especially now that children are also being educated on World History, as well. And as the internet has been used more and more by persons of all ages, and the public has turned to e-readers more and more to access information, a lot has been lost. And since children do searches by topic, they do not always get enough information on U.S. History. The statues and monuments are a visual reminder of our past and the splintering of our union at the time. But the state of our union prevailed, as did freedom for all Americans.

There are ways to keep monuments while changing the message

There are metal plates attached to statues and monuments that usually name the person or leader and their title, what they did, and their historical value.

That information could be expounded on with an additional marker encased behind an iron fence to help prevent vandalism. They could also be used as a reference point for what would have happened if the confederacy had won, as a reminder of what the Civil War began over, how President Lincoln and union troops freed the slaves and ended the division between north and south, etc. But more than that, through those statues and monuments adults could remind themselves, their children, and future generations that we must all remain vigilant to insure that that dark time in U.S. history is never repeated.