Book Review VMI Commemorations and Memorial Committee meeting

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
What is being dictated to anyone by the names of streets, buildings or military bases? Absolutely nothing.
I disagree.

Memory is a powerful thing and should be acknowledged as such.

A false memory can be just as powerful to those who know i
So are you acknowledging that in the instance of the AWI George Washington was a traitor to the Crown?
Yes.

Who here has claimed he wasn't?
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Soooo....in your view, treason is a justifiable act if done with the goal of independence from the Crown, but completely unjustifiable with the goal of independence from the Union? Seems there is a wee bit of hypocrisy there.

We can argue until we are blue in the face, but the end goal of BOTH rebellions was independence.
@PapaReb ,

I wish people wouldn't read their views into my comments, especially when I have not said such.

George Washington and the American colonists committed treason against Great Britain and the Crown. No one disputes this.

The seceding states of the South committed treason against the United States of America. No one should dispute this.

If independence was the goal in each case, what were the reasons for wanting that independence in each case? After all, people just don't wake up one morning, grab a musket and declare, "I want independence!"

"The wee bit of hypocrisy" lies in trying to make the two acts of treason appear to be caused by the same reasons instead of the real differences between the two.

Yes , the end goal of both acts of treason were independence.

The great difference was the reasons for seeking independence between the two is what should determine which act of treason was worthwhile and which was one of the worst reasons a people ever attempted such treason.

Unionblue
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
@PapaReb ,

I wish people wouldn't read their views into my comments, especially when I have not said such.

George Washington and the American colonists committed treason against Great Britain and the Crown. No one disputes this.

The seceding states of the South committed treason against the United States of America. No one should dispute this.

If independence was the goal in each case, what were the reasons for wanting that independence in each case? After all, people just don't wake up one morning, grab a musket and declare, "I want independence!"

"The wee bit of hypocrisy" lies in trying to make the two acts of treason appear to be caused by the same reasons instead of the real differences between the two.

Yes , the end goal of both acts of treason were independence.

The great difference was the reasons for seeking independence between the two is what should determine which act of treason was worthwhile and which was one of the worst reasons a people ever attempted such treason.

Unionblue
Is not wanting to pay your debts to British merchants a worthwhile reason for rebellion.
 

vmicraig

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Location
Mobile, AL
UPDATE:

Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85
Interim Superintendent
April 9, 2021

Virginia Military Institute

VMI Community:

The Board of Visitors’ Commemorations and Memorials Naming and Review Committee met this morning to discuss a number of issues that support the concept of ensuring the grounds of VMI present an inspiring and inclusive landscape and its memorials properly reflect VMI’s core values.

The committee has spent several months developing its charter and creating an inventory of iconography on post related to the Confederacy, as well as criteria by which to review these items. Today, committee members focused on three areas for recommendations to the Board of Visitors: the Virginia Mourning Her Dead monument, the New Market Battle mural, and tributes to Stonewall Jackson’s legacy.

Virginia Mourning Her Dead
The Virginia Mourning Her Dead monument was a gift from its sculptor, Sir Moses Ezekiel, a New Market cadet, Class of 1866, as a memorial to those VMI cadets who died in the Battle of New Market.

The committee has forwarded the following recommendations to the Board of Visitors for their review and approval:
• Virginia Mourning Her Dead should remain and its symbolism should be expanded to honor all former cadets who have died in the wars and military conflicts from 1839 to present day; and
The bronze placards on the base of Virginia Mourning Her Dead should be replaced with plaques that, in some way, memorialize all former cadets who have died in military service.

These recommendations are in line with the decision by the superintendent to conduct a memorial parade to honor all alumni who have died in service to the country in place of the New Market Parade.

New Market Battle Mural
The New Market Battle mural, located in Jackson Memorial Hall, was painted by Benjamin West Clinedinst, Class of 1880. It depicts the charge of the Corps of Cadets during the Battle of New Market.

The committee determined it is appropriate for the mural to be preserved. The most appropriate location for the mural on post was not decided. The committee’s work going forward will include determining the feasibility of moving the mural to another location on post. If it is determined that the mural can be moved, the committee will continue to discuss the most appropriate location on post. In the meantime, VMI Museum staff will work to provide proper context for visitors to the mural’s current site.

Jackson Tributes
Prof. Thomas Jackson, an 1846 graduate of West Point, veteran of the Mexican War, and a major in the Virginia Militia, was a teacher at VMI for ten years prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. In May 1861, he went to Richmond and soon became a household name of the Civil War. He never returned to VMI. In considering the prominent locations of the Jackson tributes on post in the light of the committee’s criteria document, which had been approved by the Board of Visitors for the review of those items, it was determined by the committee that certain venerations to the “Stonewall” persona were overstated within the context of his contributions to VMI and should be resolved.

Accordingly, the committee will present the following recommendations to the Board of Visitors for approval:
The quotation, “You may be whatever you resolve to be,” on the second stoop inside of Jackson Arch should remain but shall be properly attributed to Professor Thomas J. Jackson. A plaque in the archway will provide co-attribution to William Alcott and the Rev. Joel Hawes, who included the quotation in publications in 1834 and 1851, respectively.
The embossed “Stonewall Jackson” inscription above Jackson Arch should be removed. The committee recommended further discussion about the future name of the arch;
The name “Jackson” should be removed from Jackson Memorial Hall. The committee will consider new names for the building with the intent to make a recommendation to the Board of Visitors prior to their September 2021 meeting;

All of the above recommendations must be reviewed for approval by the full Board of Visitors before they can be implemented. The Board of Visitors will consider the recommendations at their next meeting which is scheduled for 30 April – 1 May. Comments on the committee’s recommendations can be sent to Lt. Col. Sean Harrington, secretary of the Board of Visitors, at [email protected].

I am grateful for the work the committee has begun on these difficult issues. VMI has a long and proud tradition of developing leaders who rise to the challenges of their time. The Commemorations and Memorials Naming and Review Committee’s work is an important step in the process of ensuring that all cadets and alumni are included in our rich tradition.

Respectfully,

Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85
U.S. Army (Retired)
Interim Superintendent
Virginia Military Institute
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
Oh my, was that the only reason or did the Declaration of Independence give a few more reasons for the Revolution of 1776?

Perhaps we should begin to approach the Revolutionary War the way many around here approach the Civil War, pick one reason they gave for breaking from Great Britain, insist that it is the only one that counts, and ignore all the rest.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
UPDATE:

Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85
Interim Superintendent
April 9, 2021

Virginia Military Institute

VMI Community:

The Board of Visitors’ Commemorations and Memorials Naming and Review Committee met this morning to discuss a number of issues that support the concept of ensuring the grounds of VMI present an inspiring and inclusive landscape and its memorials properly reflect VMI’s core values.

The committee has spent several months developing its charter and creating an inventory of iconography on post related to the Confederacy, as well as criteria by which to review these items. Today, committee members focused on three areas for recommendations to the Board of Visitors: the Virginia Mourning Her Dead monument, the New Market Battle mural, and tributes to Stonewall Jackson’s legacy.

Virginia Mourning Her Dead
The Virginia Mourning Her Dead monument was a gift from its sculptor, Sir Moses Ezekiel, a New Market cadet, Class of 1866, as a memorial to those VMI cadets who died in the Battle of New Market.

The committee has forwarded the following recommendations to the Board of Visitors for their review and approval:
• Virginia Mourning Her Dead should remain and its symbolism should be expanded to honor all former cadets who have died in the wars and military conflicts from 1839 to present day; and
The bronze placards on the base of Virginia Mourning Her Dead should be replaced with plaques that, in some way, memorialize all former cadets who have died in military service.

These recommendations are in line with the decision by the superintendent to conduct a memorial parade to honor all alumni who have died in service to the country in place of the New Market Parade.

New Market Battle Mural
The New Market Battle mural, located in Jackson Memorial Hall, was painted by Benjamin West Clinedinst, Class of 1880. It depicts the charge of the Corps of Cadets during the Battle of New Market.

The committee determined it is appropriate for the mural to be preserved. The most appropriate location for the mural on post was not decided. The committee’s work going forward will include determining the feasibility of moving the mural to another location on post. If it is determined that the mural can be moved, the committee will continue to discuss the most appropriate location on post. In the meantime, VMI Museum staff will work to provide proper context for visitors to the mural’s current site.

Jackson Tributes
Prof. Thomas Jackson, an 1846 graduate of West Point, veteran of the Mexican War, and a major in the Virginia Militia, was a teacher at VMI for ten years prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. In May 1861, he went to Richmond and soon became a household name of the Civil War. He never returned to VMI. In considering the prominent locations of the Jackson tributes on post in the light of the committee’s criteria document, which had been approved by the Board of Visitors for the review of those items, it was determined by the committee that certain venerations to the “Stonewall” persona were overstated within the context of his contributions to VMI and should be resolved.

Accordingly, the committee will present the following recommendations to the Board of Visitors for approval:
The quotation, “You may be whatever you resolve to be,” on the second stoop inside of Jackson Arch should remain but shall be properly attributed to Professor Thomas J. Jackson. A plaque in the archway will provide co-attribution to William Alcott and the Rev. Joel Hawes, who included the quotation in publications in 1834 and 1851, respectively.
The embossed “Stonewall Jackson” inscription above Jackson Arch should be removed. The committee recommended further discussion about the future name of the arch;
The name “Jackson” should be removed from Jackson Memorial Hall. The committee will consider new names for the building with the intent to make a recommendation to the Board of Visitors prior to their September 2021 meeting;

All of the above recommendations must be reviewed for approval by the full Board of Visitors before they can be implemented. The Board of Visitors will consider the recommendations at their next meeting which is scheduled for 30 April – 1 May. Comments on the committee’s recommendations can be sent to Lt. Col. Sean Harrington, secretary of the Board of Visitors, at [email protected].

I am grateful for the work the committee has begun on these difficult issues. VMI has a long and proud tradition of developing leaders who rise to the challenges of their time. The Commemorations and Memorials Naming and Review Committee’s work is an important step in the process of ensuring that all cadets and alumni are included in our rich tradition.

Respectfully,

Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins ’85
U.S. Army (Retired)
Interim Superintendent
Virginia Military Institute
@vmicraig ,

Thank you for the above update.

It is sincerely appreciated.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Perhaps we should begin to approach the Revolutionary War the way many around here approach the Civil War, pick one reason they gave for breaking from Great Britain, insist that it is the only one that counts, and ignore all the rest.
No, let's stick to actual historical fact instead of trying to confuse one war for another.
 

jcaesar

Private
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
They will rename some things, get rid of other things, and rewrite the history of what is left to not be connected to the Civil War specifically.
 
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Paul Yancey

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Location
Kentucky
Just wondering if there has been much discussion among the alumni regarding withholding future donations to the school. Sometimes money speaks louder than words.
 

jcaesar

Private
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Alumni can’t complete with the activist press who started this. But, the press will lose interest in a few years.
 
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vmicraig

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Location
Mobile, AL
Just wondering if there has been much discussion among the alumni regarding withholding future donations to the school. Sometimes money speaks louder than words.
Quite a lot actually. There are many alumni who have come out publicly and said they will never visit again nor donate another penny. Some are on the fence, whereas others believe the Board of Visitors is doing the right thing.

I would venture to say by the posts that I have seen on various alumni sites and social media forums, that the majority of alumni are upset with what is happening and are particularly angry with Governor Northam, who has spearheaded this charge. To make matters worse, he is a VMI graduate, which really rankles most alumni because he is using politics to change the face of a VMI in what many believe is a means of apologizing for his black face photos from graduate school and simply an attempt to keep his political career alive at the expense of his classmates and fellow graduates. That is up to people as individuals to decide .

Whatever the reason, a very, very small handful of former cadets or alumni have pushed the issue of racism and the Confederacy into the public mainstream, using liberal leaning journalism to stoke the public fires. Unfortunately, the media thus presents a very limited and one-sided view of VMI, claiming it is in anachronism clinging to the old south, the confederacy, and slavery, which couldn’t be further from the truth. VMI’s goal has always been and still is producing citizen soldiers of honor and integrity. The Civil War was a very small part of the VMIs incredible history, one which has produced Rhodes scholars, medal of honor recipients, flag ranked officers, movie stars, and incredibly successful CEOs among her ranks. However, one cannot deny that the very role of the VMI cadet charge at the battle of Newmarket, and her graduate’s leadership in the Civil War are an undeniably important part of her past that should not be looked at for the purpose of honoring slavery, but for the notable leaders produced, the selfless sacrifices made by her cadets, and the undying courage and respect for their native state in a timeframe that had different values and should be contextualized as such. No man or institution is faultless, but to simply take away her history because of past actions 155 years ago Is shortsighted and knee-jerk.

I will take one step down before hopping from my soapbox. To simply answer you, there will definitely be a drop in donations. Far greater, I believe, than the increase in donations that will be donated by a minority group of people who support these recent moves. However, I do not see it affecting the long-term health of VMI as a college, although it will indeed affect other intangible aspects of VMI which to date have not changed radically since 1839. Her honor is at risk, as is the very honor code that graduates like myself abided by throughout our cadetships. The move is afoot to change her dramatically in ways that are probably meaningless to those who do not know or understand the institution. It is a sad time for many alumni and those who understand Her incredible connections to the Civil War and how that connection shapes her future graduates
 
Last edited:

Paul Yancey

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Location
Kentucky
Quite a lot actually. There are many alumni who have come out publicly and said they will never visit again nor donate another penny. Some are on the fence, whereas others believe the Board of Visitors is doing the right thing.

I would venture to say by the posts that I have seen on various alumni sites and social media forums, that the majority of alumni are upset with what is happening and are particularly angry with Governor Northam, who has spearheaded this charge. To make matters worse, he is a VMI graduate, which really rankles most alumni because he is using politics to change the face of a VMI in what many believe is a means of apologizing for his black face photos from graduate school and simply an attempt to keep his political career alive at the expense of his classmates and fellow graduates. That is up to people as individuals to decide .

Whatever the reason, a very, very small handful of former cadets or alumni have pushed the issue of racism and the Confederacy into the public mainstream, using liberal leaning journalism to stoke the public fires. Unfortunately, the media thus presents a very limited and one-sided view of VMI, claiming it is in anachronism clinging to the old south, the confederacy, and slavery, which couldn’t be further from the truth. VMI’s goal has always been and still is producing citizen soldiers of honor and integrity. The Civil War was a very small part of the VMIs incredible history, one which has produced Rhodes scholars, medal of honor recipients, flag ranked officers, movie stars, and incredibly successful CEOs among her ranks. However, one cannot deny that the very role of the VMI cadet charge at the battle of Newmarket, and her graduate’s leadership in the Civil War are an undeniably important part of her past that should not be looked at for the purpose of honoring slavery, but for the notable leaders produced, the selfless sacrifices made by her cadets, and the undying courage and respect for their native state in a timeframe that had different values and should be contextualized as such. No man or institution is faultless, but to simply take away her history because of past actions 155 years ago Is shortsighted and knee-jerk.

I will take one step down before hopping from my soapbox. To simply answer you, there will definitely be a drop in donations. Far greater, I believe, than the increase in donations that will be donated by a minority group of people who support these recent moves. However, I do not see it affecting the long-term health of VMI as a college, although it will indeed affect other intangible aspects of VMI which to date have not changed radically since 1839. Her honor is at risk, as is the very honor code that graduates like myself abided by throughout our cadetships. The move is afoot to change her dramatically in ways that are probably meaningless to those who do not know or understand the institution. It is a sad time for many alumni and those who understand Her incredible connections to the Civil War and how that connection shapes her future graduates
Well said. Thank you for providing your perspective. Tradition, history, and pride are characteristics that make VMI a unique and special place. I wish you and the other like minded alumni the very best.
 
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