Your View: Changing street names would desecrate Alexandria’s history

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Your View: Changing street names would desecrate Alexandria’s history
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By Greg Paspatis, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
I am writing to comment on your recent editorial concerning the findings of the ad hoc advisory group on Confederate memorials and street names (“Advisory group gets it right on Confederate symbols,” August 25). You said that sometime in the future, maybe some of those streets named after Confederate leaders need to be changed.

Well, which specific ones? Are some Confederates deemed more offensive than other Confederates? Should we change the name of Pickett Street because it shares the name with George Pickett, who is famous for the eponymous charge on the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg?

Should we change the name of Van Dorn Street because it was named after Earl Van Dorn, a notorious womanizer who was murdered by a jealous husband in Tennessee during the war?

It just shows how silly and ridiculous this whole thing is. Your comment about changing some street names in the future was just a hollow, feel-good gesture. It has no practical application in reality.

Your online poll results indicated that 74 percent of respondents felt that the city’s advisory group’s recommendations should not have changed anything. That says it all.

Historical study and history education in this country today are in bad shape, and the causes are varied. We should preserve our heritage, not desecrate it.

The entire Northern Virginia area is awash with the legacy of the Confederacy. Does anyone really think they can eviscerate all the vestiges of the Confederacy around here?

It’s a foolhardy notion. Those of us whose families have been here for many years don’t appreciate these “Johnny Come Latelies” moving in and trying to tell us how to reinterpret our history.

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