Sul­li­van­ton, O’Con­nells­burg, or Kon­icksville?

Rappahannock News - - COM­MENT -

IBY GUS ED­WARDS

am en­cour­aged to hope by re­cent news from the City of Alexan­dria that not all the cit­i­zens of our great na­tion have taken leave of their senses. In a supremely en­light­ened ec­stasy of re­vi­sion­ism, the vestry and parish­ioners of Christ Epis­co­pal Church (es­tab­lished 1773) have elected to re­move from the church walls memo­ri­als to the rep­re­hen­si­ble Robert E. Lee and the odi­ous Ge­orge Washington be­cause they may cause “dis­com­fort” to some wor­shipers. Both men were parish­ioners, with Washington hav­ing had the gall to at­tend ser­vices there off and on for two decades. He even owned a pew. De­spi­ca­ble.

But I sub­mit that this com­mend­able ac­tion is in­suf­fi­cient. If ISIS has taught us noth­ing else, we now know that his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments are among the most in­sid­i­ously evil in­flu­ences on the mind of man. I pro­pose that the parish­ioners of Christ Church come to­gether with the other cit­i­zens of North­ern Vir­ginia on a Great Cru­sade to erad­i­cate from the face of the earth all ves­tiges of that which may cause some peo­ple “dis­com­fort.”

They could march just a few blocks from Christ Church to Lee’s boy­hood home, a build­ing so in­fa­mous that it should be re­duced im­me­di­ately to a smol­der­ing rub­ble. Then, ral­ly­ing on what — for now

— is called Washington Street, they could pro­ceed with pitch­forks and torches the 10 miles down what — for now — is called the Ge­orge Washington Me­mo­rial Park­way to Mount Ver­non, a site of such un­ut­ter­able malev­o­lence that the very name is a paean to dis­com­fort. It must be de­stroyed.

Cir­cling back then to Christ Church, it­self, that wicked struc­ture must suf­fer the in­ex­orable con­se­quences of the aid and com­fort it once gave to Washington and Lee. The build­ing must be razed, the earth be­neath it salted and, ul­ti­mately, re­placed by a mu­nic­i­pal park­ing lot, which the city so ur­gently needs.

Then on to the Mother of All Dis­com­fort — Washington, Va., “The First of them All.” That an en­tire town should re­joice in an ap­pel­la­tion so steeped in dis­com­fort is be­yond all com­pre­hen­sion. Its res­i­dents should be re­viled and driven away, their prop­er­ties seized, and the town rechris­tened to some­thing more ap­pro­pri­ate and com­fort­ing, such as Sul­li­van­ton, O’Con­nells­burg, or Kon­icksville.

Above all, these ac­tions should serve the vi­tal pur­pose of pre­vent­ing peo­ple from re­mem­ber­ing that we are an im­per­fect na­tion of im­per­fect cit­i­zens who de­serve to be dis­com­fited by open di­a­log about our dif­fer­ences, our his­tory, and, pos­si­bly, a way for­ward.

Gus Ed­wards lives in Alexan­dria and Reva

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