There are people who are of the opinion that the Jefferson Davis Highway should change its name since it references a controversial figure associated with being the President the Confederate States and the darker parts of history that go along with that position. There is also a side to the argument that suggests that the name change is unnecessary as, despite the negative connotations of the Southern States in the Civil War, the soldiers who fought there for their country and beliefs should be honored rather than have memories of their patriotism erased.
- I have to admit that I shuddered after reading Richard Merritt’s letter to the editor (“Change the name of Jefferson Davis Highway,” August 18) about banning Confederate statues and street names.
- Alexandrians are not worshipping Confederate politicians and soldiers by remembering their bravery and loyalty in fighting against what many of them perceived to be federal tyranny,
- As Merritt suggests, things are much more nuanced. But by his logic, on my next trip to Italy, I can feel morally confident in pulling down the statues and street signs bearing the names of Roman dignitaries who owned slaves, warred with other peoples and promoted the Roman Empire.
“To reiterate, we must be wary of erasing the historical presence of individuals and icons on the basis of ever-changing standards of morality and political correctness.”