Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Expunging History?

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Expunging History?

I am appalled that the leaders of Christ Church would have taken it upon themselves to mandate the removal of plaques honoring George Washington and Robert E. Lee from the walls of their church. These two plaques have hung for 147 years on opposite sides of the Christ Church altar, with George Washington’s plaque located directly in front of a pew dedicated to him where ironically I occasionally sat, as it accommodates those of us who are tall. Using the reasoning that the removal of the plaques will place the “church’s history in the proper context” is totally wrong as that reasoning is nothing more than a bogus attempt to change our history.

Are these same Christ Church leaders set to endorse the removal of the Confederate Memorial located in Section 16 of Arlington Cemetery and the numerous Confederate graves surrounding it? I think not! On the rear of this monument is an inscription that eulogizes the bravery of those buried around it. It reads:

Not for fame or reward

Not for place or for rank

Not lured by ambition

Or goaded by necessity

But in simple

Obedience to duty

As they understood it

Sacrificed all

Dared all - and died

Our city is indeed a historical repository that attracts millions of visitors every year. Our first Council was composed of George Washington, his brother Laurence Washington, Lord Fairfax, John Carlisle, and my direct ancestor George Mason. Their picture is prominently displayed on the wall of the City Council’s work room. If we continue to remove more of our age-long historical markers, we then will have very little attraction for anyone to come visit us. We will then have become a city without a history. Hopefully the parishioners of Christ Church will see the light and reverse the ill-fated decision of their leaders.

Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet