Last week, a local car dealership was running adds for a Veterans Day weekend sale event. It was clear from watching the ads that the dealership in question had bought a series of canned ads and then added its own message at the end. This became especially apparent when the pitchman asked viewers to honor the veterans (and buy a car) while standing in front of a monument to Confederate soldiers.
One could react to that image in a number of ways, but for me it raised a simple question: how should we treat the service of Confederate soldiers? Keep in mind that this is not simply a question for academics. People count Confederate soldiers among their ancestors. That’s the case in my family. So the question engages me on various levels, and I wonder how it engages you.