Wash­ing­ton and Lee and an in­sult

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

Wash­ing­ton and Lee Univer­sity, in an ap­par­ent quest for po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, has ig­nored his­tory and failed to rec­og­nize the virtues of hon­esty, in­tegrity, loy­alty and self-sac­ri­fice that its name­sakes ex­em­pli­fied. In the process, it has dis­hon­ored the mem­o­ries and sac­ri­fices of the men and women who gave all in the de­fense of our coun­try.

The elim­i­na­tion of por­traits of Gens. Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton and Robert E. Lee in uni­form is a slap in the face to ev­ery Amer­i­can who has ever worn the uni­form of our coun­try. In the past, the univer­sity has hon­ored grad­u­ates who fought for their coun­try. There are memo­ri­als list­ing the dead.

I was work­ing at the Ge­orge C. Mar­shall Foun­da­tion when Wash­ing­ton and Lee cel­e­brated the 50th an­niver­sary of the end­ing of World War II. I helped or­ga­nize a pa­rade to honor Wash­ing­ton and Lee vet­er­ans. Most of these alumni were en­listed in World War II.

His­tory al­lows us to learn from our mis­takes. Don’t sweep them un­der the car­pet. We all have made mis­takes and grown be­cause of them. Some of our mis­takes may have been po­lit­i­cally cor­rect at the time, but while times change and po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness changes, virtues do not. Wash­ing­ton and Lee should un­der­stand that hon­esty, in­tegrity, loy­alty and self-sac­ri­fice dis­played by Gens. Wash­ing­ton and Lee are virtues that need to be in­stilled in our young men and women if we are to sur­vive as the na­tion our fore­fa­thers con­ceived. What bet­ter way to in­still these virtues than the ex­am­ples set by Gens. Wash­ing­ton and Lee? Wood­son Sadler, Glas­gow, Va.

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