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tv   The Civil War Confederate Heritage Preservation  CSPAN  August 3, 2018 5:10pm-5:28pm EDT

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up next, shenandoah valley battlefield foundation kevin walker talks about preserving the story of the civil war. he also recites his foundation's 2017 policy on confederate monuments. his remarks are part after conference hosted by the shenandoah valley battlefield foundation. this is just over ten minutes. thank you for coming and spending the day talking about such a controversial issue. spending the day together learning from one another. i am thrilled by the speaking panel that we had today, dr. robertson opened us up in true style. we could not have the body of knowledge about the american civil war that we do today if it wasn't for dr. robertson. i am absolutely thrilled to have caroline janie back here in the valley and back in virginia. we were so graced and blessed to
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have you with us on the panel today. christie coleman's remarks were remarkable and the work she has been doing in richmond on behalf of the monuments commission there has been daunting and it was a very, very interesting to have her come and talk to us about all of that she has been doing. >> and john coski is a wealth of knowledge on many topics. if you get a chance to have lunch with him, i'm sure he would wow you. if there is anybody that knows anything more about the confederate battle flag, i don't know who it would be. and john, thank you so much for going with us today. it's been a wonderful day and it begs the question once again, why would the shenandoah valley battlefield foundation host this event? there are other battlefield preservation organizations, national organizations, local organizations that are doing everything this they possibly can to run away from this issue. and if they are not running away from the issue, they are at least doing everything they can to keep their heads down and
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keep themselves out of view lest they become a part of the public furor or fury. you know, a good friend of i mean, bill brown, who is with us today, came up to me before the event and he gave me a little gift. i think i'm going to share that with you now because i think it's very, very apropos. and you have to bear with me. i am going to take you back to march 5th of 1836. march 5th of 1836. march 5, 1836, on a little mission in southern texas, the alamo. and a man by the name of colonel william travis. on that moment, colonel travis at that moment, colonel travis knew that his position was dire, that there was going to be very little that they were going to be able to do to win the day, if
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anything, against the overwhelming forces that santa ana had brought against that small force defending the alamo. and against certain death, against all odds, colonel william travis assembled his small party together. and when he did that, he began a speech to them recounting for them the importance of what they were doing and with a flourish he drew his sword and he etched a line in the sand. he etched a line in the sand. my friend bill brown handed to me this morning some of the soil from the spot where colonel travis etched that line in the sand. the shenandoah valley battlefield foundation drew a line in the sand.
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we drew a line in the sand and said that we are not going to back away from this issue. it's too important to our future. and when we drew that line in the sand we asked, just like colonel travis did, we asked those around us, our closest compatriots in this fight for preservation, to step over the line with us and to stand with us shoulder and shoulder to say to the world that preservation is important, that our history is important, that we will not stand for anyone who is not inclusive in this conversation, and that we want to foster a broader conversation. we want to foster an open-munded lo minded look at these issues and we want to foster discussion that will lead to commonalities
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and hopefully more commonalities than differences of opinion as we move into the future. i heard it said by a politician from vermont when he came to cedar creek to dedicate a vermont marker there, something that i'll never forget and i'll use it today. he said, we do not meet here as the decendants of enemies. we meet here today as the ancestors of friends. those of you who decided to cross this line with us and stand beside the shenandoah valley battlefield foundation and have tough discussions and dig into these tough issues have decided to make the world a better place tomorrow in our own small way. you have stood up for history. you have stood beside historic preservation and you have stood beside your neighbors in trying to foster an open and honest
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discourse about this very difficult issue. we did not come up with any answers today, but we had a lot of powerful discussions. i heard them in the halls. i heard them during the breaks. i heard them at lunch. i heard them in the questions that we were being asked, and i heard the speakers talk about all the phenomenal interaction they were having with folks that are here today. the shenandoah valley battlefield foundation is committed to saving the battlefields of the shenandoah valley, and it's committed to saving and preserving the story of the american civil war as it played out here in the shenandoah valley. but the trustees of the shenandoah valley battlefields foundation realizes we have a responsibility as one of the largest, most effective battlefield preservation organizations in virginia to take a stand, to draw a line in the sand and to ask others to stand with us. and to that end, the
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battlefields foundation instituted a monuments policy which it released on september the 7th of 2017, and i would like to read portions of that policy to you today. i will read the preamble and then the first four items underneath the policy, the last three being administrative only. the battlefields in the historic sites throughout the shenandoah valley battlefield district memorialize and tell the stories of soldiers union and confederate, slave and free americans who lived through the tumultuous and defining years of the american civil war and the decades of reconstruction and civil rights struggles that followed. monuments are and always have been an important part of that commemoration and an important
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part of interpreting history and understanding the past. on battlefields they provide focal points, tangible icons that help visitors understand what they are, that they are on hallowed ground where americans of all sides struggled to deal with the wrenching issues that divided our nation and forged the country that we are in today. monuments have for thousands of years expressed the ideas and ideals of past generations. they have spoken to the present and called to us to reflect, to seek our own understanding, to draw meaning from the past for our own time. the shenandoah valley battlefield foundation considers monuments to be historic in their own right, to be important features on historic rural and urban landscapes and to be
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worthy of protection. accordingly, the shenandoah valley battlefields foundation makes the following statements of policy. we are oppose today the eradication or removal of plaques, statues, monuments, place names, and other public honest associated with the history and heritage of the united states. the shenandoah valley battlefields foundation asserts rather than taking down monuments, confederate or otherwise, additional monuments should be added and historically appropriate sites throughout the historic district that address the subjects of slavery, the underground railroad, self-emancipation, usct service, the 13th through 15th amendments, reconstruction, and the civil rights acts that led us into the modern day. existing monuments should be kept intact but can be
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complimented with interpretative signage that provides context and reflects a broader history than the monument evidences. our history sometimes involves terrible judgment and shocking inhumanity to our fellow humans, but that history should not be hidden. instead we should learn from our flaws, recognize our progress, and acknowledge that still more progress must and will come. the shenandoah valley battlefield supports existing future and state laws and forbids state and local governments from removing or altering monuments and monuments should remain located where originally placed. and lastly, in the unfortunate event that a monument, union or confederate, soldiers civil war officers or commanders or civilians of that period, enslaved or free, is removed from its original location and if said monument is considered
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relevant to the history of the struggle from civil war to civil rights in the shenandoah valley, the shenandoah valley battlefields foundation is open to assisting with the appropriate relocation of such a monument to the national historic district. the battlefields foundation envisions the shenandoah valley to be a place of unmatched scenic beauty where generations can gather to understand, commemorate, and drawing meaning from our nation's heritage. we feel that our work to preserve battlefields, our work to preserve stories, our work to preserve monuments and the work that you have started today by opening up discusses about complicated issues is doing just that. and with that i thank you. [ applause ]
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>> i think we do have time if there is any last-minute questions before we go out to the book signing. all right. have a safe trip home. [ applause ] >> the u.s. house is in recess through the month of august and we are using this opportunity to show you american history tv programs normally seen only on the weekends here on c-span3. coming up presentations from a recent conference on civil war confederate monuments. it starts with an overview of the debate taking place across
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the country over taking down the monuments. that's followed by apexplanation of why people have competing memories of the civil war. and then the controversies behind taking down confederate monuments. later, a look at the popularity of the confederate battle flag and confederate heritage preservation. american history tv continues all next week here on c-span3. we are showing the c-span series 1968, america in turmoil, starting monday at 8:00 a.m. and continuing through friday. monday the vietnam war and the tet offensive in 1968 which changed the war's direction. tuesday the 1968 presidential election when former vice president richard nixon faced democratic nominee and incumbent vice president hubert humphrey and alabama governor george wallace, who ran on the american independent party ticket. wednesday civil rights and race relations. thursday it's the rise of liberal politics with a special
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look at the democratic convention in chicago. friday, conservative politics and richard nixon's rise in the republican party. this sunday on oral histories we continue our series on women in congress with former democratic congresswoman pat schroeder. >> when i first got elected i was in this really idealistic mode of this is wonderful, you know, how long do you think it will be before almost half of the house is female? so i asked the library of congress, or somebody, what they thought, and they said probably 300 years. but i'm beginning to believe maybe they were right because it has been very incremental. very incremental. >> and in the weeks ahead we will hear from sue myrick, eva clayton, helen bentley, barbara kennelly, nancy johnson and lynn woolsey. watch oral histories sunday at
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10:00 a.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. this weekend the c-span cities tour takes you to las cruces, new mexico. with the help of our comcast cable partners we will explore the life and history of las cruces located at the foot of the oregon mountains and along the banks of the rio grande. saturday at 12 noon eastern on book tv author john hunter explores the impact of the manhattan project on new mexico in his book. the cold war and the atomic west. >> when oppenheimer brought nuclear physics west, first to berkeley and to caltech, and then to new mexico, he changed particularly new mexico. it brought this state that was poor, had very little infrastructure, and put in the
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middle of it this federally funded facility that just transformed the state. >> then author martha andrews discusses the roles of western frontier women in her book out of the shadows, the women of southern new mexico. on sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv we visit the white sands missile range museum. >> the testing that's been done out here, people think it's been mostly military testing, but it really has involved a lot of civilian uses as well. a lot of the rockets that are fired out here, even today, are sounding rockets used to do upper atmospheric research. that's still a big program out here. >> then a tour of fort selden, a u.s. military outpost located near the rio grande river established to keep peace in the refuge. watch c-span's cities tour of las cruces, new mexico, saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on
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c-span3. working with our cable affiliates as we explore america. >> next, virginia tech history professor james robison shares his views on the confederate monuments debates. better informing citizens about civil war history. he discusses robert e. lee's character and the organizations and people who are seeking to remove his statues throughout the country. this 1 hour 15 minute park was part of a conference hosted by shenandoah valley battlefields foundation. >> good morning. we are comprised of eight counties in the shenandoah. we are thrilled to have you all


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