Cast in bronze, standing on the front face of the Confederate memorial, he stands with slouch hat in hand, looking out over the rows of headstones. His gaze focuses on the middle distance. His expression looks as though he’s only barely holding off a sad thought, one that will soon break his reverie and make him glance downward at the ground, away from his lost comrades and the melancholy he carries.
The statue stands at the head of the Confederate section of Woodlawn National Cemetery, overlooking the plots of Southern POWs who died at the Elmira prison camp. He stands for all the fallen men, holding vigil for those who might otherwise be forgotten here on Northern land, so far away from their native soil in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia….
I choose to remember him tonight, and remember his comrades, because I’d like to challenge you, too, Gentle Reader, to remember those on both sides who fell during the conflict. Remember, too, the men and women who have served since, and who serve now. Many are far away from their native soil. Many rest there still.