They represent the heroes of the South, those who fought, those who died and those who refuse to let the memory of our history die. They are modest, but essential reminders of a people who sacrificed everything. They are a link, however tenuous, to our past.
Often names of the dead are etched in stone. They are indeed heroes, but there are so many more whose names do not appear. Those who fought and lived with the terrible images of war. Those who tried to keep a place where tired soldiers could once again become husbands and fathers. Those who lost husbands and brothers and fathers and sons. Those who were forced to watch as their country was destroyed town by town and farm by farm. Those who worked so hard to see that we could not forget.
Stop a moment, bow your head and honor them. Never let their battles be forgotten; never let their story be rewritten; never let their banners be dishonored; never let their lives be cause for shame.
They stand; though some would tear them down. They stand; though many turn their back. They stand; thank God, they stand.
© Jack C. Kean 1996