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Don’t rewrite American’s history

Laugh Tracks in the Dust
Milo Yield
Damphewmoreacres, Kan.

First order of bizness. Winter is coming. The days are getting shorter. So, don’t forget where your flannel shirts and your long-johns are stored. You’ll need ‘em again faster than you can wipe the July sweat from your brow.

•••

Second order of bizness — much more important than the first. Since this is the week of July 4, dedicated to celebrate our nation’s founding and independence, I’m gonna exercise that independence and get the following rant off my chest. I’m in such a foul mood that I don’t particularly care who might be offended by it.

Never in my lifetime did I envision that I’d ever witness the sad and disheartening spectacle of statues of the nation’s founding fathers and other proud patriots being torn down or defaced by people who call themselves Americans.

I simply felt like puking when I saw what anti-American rioters had done to the statue of founding father George Washington. The gorge rose in my craw when I likewise saw what they’d done to the statue of Thomas Jefferson, the father of the Declaration of Independence and a primary power behind our nation’s Constitution and Bill of Rights.

How any Americans could stoop so low and disgrace themselves in the name of peaceful protest as to vandalize the statue of President Abraham Lincoln is beyond me and beyond any grievance for social justice.

I was similarly chagrined at the toppling of the statue of President Ulysses S. Grant, the general who saved the nation in the Civil War and a president who opposed slavery his whole lifetime. Without Lincoln and Grant, it’s possible that an entire swath of the American south still could be a bastion of slavery. History cries out in anguish at rioting besmirching their names in the cause of racial justice.

I was repulsed at the news that a memorial to Francis Scott Key, the author of our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, was a target of rioters. Betsy Ross, the woman who is credited with creating the first Old Glory with needle and threat is vilified.

The entire effort to rewrite American history makes my blood boil. Columbus came to the Americas. That’s a historic fact. The Civil War happened. That’s a historic fact. Civil War generals and soldiers fought valiantly and courageously. That they lived and died in a lost cause is historic fact. The Confederacy lost the Civil War. That’s a historic fact. The confederate flag flew. That’s a historic fact.

The history of the Civil War will not go away just because it’s protested today. I say, let Confederate statues stand. They are part of the Nation’s history.

All statues are built to commemorate someone or some moment in time. Let them stand with truthful historic explanation. Yes, Washington, Jefferson and other Founding Fathers were slave owners. Yet, those same flawed men found a way to create out of their fertile, educated minds a form of government — self-government by it’s citizens — that has proven to be the best ever created.

It guarantees: “LIFE. LIBERTY. AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.”

What more could self-governing citizens ask of their government?

I say: “Nothing.” An opportunity is all we need to be guaranteed.

We are living through a national crisis that is testing our national mettle. Can we live up to the challenge granted to us by our Constitutional Republic?

What’s happening in the streets is an indication we’re not living up to the challenge well.

However, what is happening inside our hearts and minds will be the ultimate determining factor. Let’s hope both hearts and minds prove strong and resilient.

•••

Last week, ol’ Claude Hopper, my college buddy from our days at Bea Wilder U., drove the coronavirus gauntlet from Pratt, Kan., to Damphewmore Acres. We enjoyed a respite from the humid weather for 2 1/2 days of fishing.

Claude kept my record perfect of taking friends fishing and having them catch a bass over 5 1/2-pounds. Naturally, the closest I could come was with a 3 1/2 pounder. However, I did catch the biggest catfish (but it wuzn’t actually very big.)

•••

Another good fishing buddy of mine, ol’ Finn N. Fuhrman from Americus, Kan., tells me a story that he swears is the truth and can be verified by his adult daughter. They were fishing in the family’s watershed lake and anchored amid the fallen timber.

Finn felt a big tug on his line, followed by a massive strike after he set the hook. With his pole bent double, Finn finally got the monster close enuf to the surface to see it’s giant catfish belly. Then the fish went to the bottom and sulked, despite Finn’s tugging on the line. Finally, the line slacked and Finn reeled in a dead bass that he weighed at 3 1/2 pounds. That bass was the BAIT that the giant catfish grabbed and wouldn’t let go of after Finn hooked the bass.

Finn, who is a wildlife biologist by training, figgered that the catfish wuz way too big to be a channel cat. So, he reasoned that when the watershed was built and originally stocked many long years ago, there must have been at least one blue catfish fingerling released. That’s a “near whale” of a fish story.

•••

Here are my personal words of wisdom for the week: Burning Old Glory can not be both “hate speech” and “free speech.” It’s only hate speech.

Pray for our nation and don’t blow any fingers off with fireworks.

Have a good ‘un. ❖


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