Those who live in Southern states may be aware that next month is Confederate Heritage and History Month. But if you’re not lucky enough to live in Dixie, you likely won’t hear a word about it.
If you are like me and have an interest in Confederate history even though you live above the Mason-Dixon line, I encourage you to visit the Web site of the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (www.confederateheritagemonth.com) as they honor their ancestors and pay tribute to their valiant past.
The need for this month of remembrance in this time of political correctness is great. Education is the only weapon that can be used now to combat the constant and deliberate alteration of history. Truth and facts must be pitted against misrepresentations and distortions in order to protect the South’s most precious symbols, traditions and beliefs.
Though some might say this issue is a “Southern” one, they could not be more wrong. Any attempt to denigrate the history of the South should be viewed by all as an insult to the honor and heritage of our nation. To ignore or disregard the lives of some of our nation’s most valiant heroes is to leave blank some of the proudest pages in American history. Likewise, to disrespect the symbols of that sacred past is an affront to the legacy of a brave and conscientious people who offered their lives and their possessions in defense of their beliefs.
Since I can claim no ancestral link to the Confederacy, it is not for me to convey to the historically challenged, the emotions evoked, the feelings induced, and the pride aroused by the banner that continues to be cherished today as an honored emblem of the South. But I can say that I find it offensive and insulting to hear slurs against a flag under which so many brave men served and died.
In any event, Shades of Gray is my feeble attempt to correct some of the mistruths that seem to have become “accepted version” of events. By examining the human side of the War for Southern Independence, I aim to pay tribute to the memory of the South’s past, and to honor the men who fought and defended their homes — not in the spirit of anger or of hate — but in fulfillment of duty and a conviction for honor.
In that spirit, I will donate a portion of every book sold in April to an organization that honors or strives to protect Confederate heritage (I’ve not made up my mind yet which one – your suggestions are welcome).
Ir is my hope, however, that the value of Shades of Gray will be more for its contribution toward the understanding of the past than for any monetary donation.