Friday, January 19, 2007
In Honor of a Great Man
Today has passed as just another day for most people. Very few have given any thought as to how January 19 was a very significant day in history - exactly 200 years ago. The man who was perhaps the greatest American, outside of a few of the 'Founding Fathers', to ever live was born on January 19, 1807.
Robert Edward Lee, the most famous and beloved of all generals of the War Between the States era, was the fifth son of the War for Independence hero Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee and his second wife Anne Hill Carter Lee. Unfortunately, General Lee didn't have the opportunity to know his father well. Henry Lee had made several bad investment mistakes, as he was not the best at money matters, and found himself in and out of debtors' prison. While not in prison, Henry Lee dealt with a rapidly declining health, and later died when a young Robert E. Lee was only 11. The Lees were left with a great deal of debt left by Henry Lee, which would plague them for years to come. General Lee's rise to greatness is a great example of one not allowing his circumstances to keep him from achieving success.
It has been said that since General Lee was a son of one of the original Patriots, he probably had a better understanding of what the Founders' original intent for the Republic was. Lee was well versed in the reasons for the struggle for Liberty and Freedom, and the importance of preserving them for future generations. The cause of Independence was still fresh in the minds of all Americans while the future general was growing up.
Many stories have been related about Robert E. Lee's greatness, and I could never add more to what has been said. The major part for his greatness was his humility. Robert E. Lee never saw himself as a great man or general, and rebuked those who suggested such. If American men would aspire to be half the man that General Lee was, I believe our country would be much different - and far greater.
This morning, as I thought about the the life of this great man, I became curious to find out what was being said about him on his birthday. In this age of political correctness and diversity-nazism, I was afraid that he would be slandered left and right. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised by a number of the articles that I found. Here are some of the ones I enjoyed reading:
An Evening With General Lee
Remembering Lee - a true American Hero and Man of Character
Remember Robert E. Lee, a man of character
The Commonwealth of Virginia has even set up a special website to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lee's birth, RELee2007.com.
For those that think Lee was just another white racists from mythical racist South, consider this story. Shortly after the end of the War Between the States, Lee was attending a Richmond church one Sunday. While communion was being served, a large black man walked into the church, walked down the aisle, knelt down at the altar in order to partake of the Lord's Supper. While this shocked a few of the upper-crust, Lee was not phased. He rose to his feet, walked to the altar, and knelt beside the man. Strangely, you rarely hear anyone relate that story. It doesn't fit in with the politically correct agenda to distort and destroy his name.
It is hard to sum up what many Southerners still feel about General Robert E. Lee. Although, I think a Georgia legislator probably came the closest this week. He said, "If you are a Christian and believe that Jesus was the most perfect Man Whoever walked the face of the Earth, then as a Southerner, you believe that the second most perfect was Robert E. Lee." And he probably was, because we have certainly fallen short of his example.
On this anniversary of his birth, let us determine to follow his example and seek to do all we can to preserve Liberty, Freedom and Independence.