Friday, Jan. 18, was celebrated as Lee-Jackson Day in Virginia; it is buttressed by Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 21. It is well that we remember and honor these men: MLK as the face of the civil rights movement in the 1960s; Lee and Jackson as emerging leaders in the Civil War in the 1860s.
In a progressive culture that increasingly seeks to define and divide us by gender, income, race, religion and politics; we should consider the actions and individual humility, kindness and faith of these three men.
Lee and Jackson are revered for their early successes in the defense of their native state. Yet both initially opposed secession. King opposed oppression through civil disobedience and the federal government’s stance on poverty, education and the Vietnam War.
All three men were raised in the South, were of modest means and Christian principles, and all three left their mark on the American landscape.
While their battles were different, their core convictions and code of conduct remain inviolate. Lee, as the only non-casualty, continued to set an example to his students as educator by encouraging reunification, restoration, accountability and peace. Something that seems in increasingly short supply today.