Only in America…

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to tour the Capitol and got an expanded look because of my brother, who is interning with a representative.

I highly recommend going to the Capitol and touring. The museum is top notch with great artifacts, including a table from Abraham Lincoln’s presidential inauguration. The Capitol itself is a beautiful building filled with busts and statues of many great Americans and other luminaries that helped shape America’s past.

There were a few statues I was not expecting to see in the Capitol of the United States–yet there they were:¬†Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, and Robert E. Lee,¬†three of the top men in the Confederacy, who shaped the South’s political and/or military strategy.

There was also a staute of Gen. Joseph Wheeler, who later became an officer for the United States military but who served for the C.S.A. in the Civil War; his statue shows him in his Confederate uniform.

Seeing their replicas struck a chord. What other country would put the upper echelon of leadership from a failed rebellion of people who committed treason against the government in the halls of that government’s buildings.

I could only think of one thing: only in America

I just thought these statues were interesting to see, especially in the place I was visiting.

Yet, maybe they speak to the power of America to forgive? Maybe they speak to trying to understand the entire story of our American history?

What are your thoughts?

3 Responses to Only in America…

  1. Surprised that in our politically correct, these are allowed to remain. Then again our anti Christian government still has 10 commandments on Supreme Court building. I just do not like those who fought against America being honored in America even if they were Americans!

  2. I know each state can place two statues in the Capitol, so the result has been an extremely eclectic assortment of folks because each state has used different criteria for selecting its statues. That variety really opens up some interesting conversations by putting various figures in “conversation” with each other, so to speak. Your post is an example of one of those interesting opportunities for conversation.

    I am particularly pleased about the Joe Wheeler statue, surprising as that might be. I think it speaks directly to your comment about forgiveness, and I think it also speaks to the power of redemption. Wheeler’s service to the U.S. government was noteworthy in the postwar years, as a U.S. senator from Alabama but more importantly as a general during the Spanish-American War and the war in the Philippines (oh, that Golden Age of American Imperialism).

  3. It is not the power to forgive, in fact just the opposite. These statues are placed by the States that have clung to their Confederate legacy of rebellion, unwilling to forget, forgive or accept that they lost and were in the wrong. In addition to Davis, Lee, Stephens and Wheeler, there are also statues of Edmund Kirby Smith and Wade Hampton.

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