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Letter: Blessed are the Peacemakers

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

The Civil War (1861-1865) was the biggest catastrophe this country has ever endured. It wiped out a generation of good men on both sides of the conflict. Mathews County was hard hit, for example, the fate of Sands Smith. The war produced a bitterness that we are still dealing with today, 10 generations later.

The war was a result of a failure to abide by the bedrock principle of democracy—that is, we failed to compromise. We let the radicals in South Carolina and Massachusetts inflame the passions of the two sides until the mad dogs of war were released.

But we are taught that “Blessed are the Peacemakers”—the compromisers. In the debate over the Monument, we should refrain from demonizing the other side or taking a “holier than thou” attitude. We should recognize the legitimacy of one side’s desire to remember their ancestors and the other side’s desire to improve race relations. Conflicts like this one over the Monument will only produce another rou...

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