zabouti |||

A Monument to the Union Victory

A good friend of mine asks on Facebook:

Why aren’t there Union victory monuments or monuments to abolitionists?

This question reminded me of the monuments at Gettysburg, where I was struck by the contrast between the monuments erected by the Union and Confederate states. In general the Confederate monuments were larger and more warlike, the sort of thing you’d expect from the victors. The victors, on the other hand, generally erected more sober monuments naming the soldiers who had died and expressing sadness at the war’s terrible toll.

Then I remembered a monument at the US Capitol. It might not even be a monument, it is so understated, on a par with the Vietnam memorial. Only its placement tells you how important it is:

Placement of the Memorial
ALT

I remember wandering near the statue of the horseman years ago and being moved by its majesty and sense of tragedy. US Grant, perhaps our greatest general, is sitting on top of his horse, but the horse is not rearing up for battle and the man atop is not saluting his triumph.

Closeup of the Memorial
ALT

Now, years later, having listened to American Ulysses, Ron White’s biography of Grant, I think of him as a truly great leader and human being. His life was so rich and complex that I won’t try to explain what makes him great. It’s clear from this simple monument that our country felt the same as I do.

Up next Quotations Why does [Judith] Butler prefer to write in this teasing, exasperating way? The style is certainly not unprecedented. Some precincts of the The Great 2021 Gasoline Shortage
Latest posts I perceive new things as my nerves slow down B&N’s new president Learning French with the FSI Method Release time Xtian education in public school The Bastard! He doesn’t exist! I used to have so much fun cutting pictures and words out of magazines and newspapers Photoshop brushes drive me crazy! I warn people about confusing Dropbox behavior 2022-01-12 Tunisia’s spicy Harissa gets UNESCO heritage status Today is Thanksgiving 2022, aka Turkey Day. Proposed Driving Itinerary of the Cathar Region How you know when your volleyball-playing days are over Saeed Jones Why history moves in cycles Shopping lists Frédéric Bruly Bouabré « L’alphabet de l’ouest africain » American Anti-Government sentiment Proof that the Earth’s Climate is Not Changing Our Poor Kitchen The NY Times has a Telegram channel Amazon loses my smile History versus the UNC Press fire of 1990 J’ai pensé à ce passage du livre « La septième fonction du langage » de Laurent Binet Sufism in Tunisia Remembering Mark Grandy 2022-02-01 OLLI Bottleneck Comparing Gafsa and Chapel Hill Se oriente, rapaz Feeling nostalgic because of a COVID test Fun misunderstandings Our Living Contradiction