From the Virginia Governor's declaration:
WHEREAS, all Virginians can appreciate the fact that when ultimately overwhelmed by the insurmountable numbers and resources of the Union Army, the surviving, imprisoned and injured Confederate soldiers gave their word and allegiance to the United States of America, and returned to their homes and families to rebuild their communities in peace, following the instruction of General Robert E. Lee of Virginia, who wrote that, “...all should unite in honest efforts to obliterate the effects of war and to restore the blessings of peace."; and
WHEREAS, this defining chapter in Virginia’s history should not be forgotten, but instead should be studied, understood and remembered by all Virginians, both in the context of the time in which it took place, but also in the context of the time in which we live, and this study and remembrance takes on particular importance as the Commonwealth prepares to welcome the nation and the world to visit Virginia for the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Civil War, a four-year period in which the exploration of our history can benefit all;
Virginia was a confederate state during the civil war. Nobody wants to be on the "losing" side. The governor's words are conciliatory toward the ancestors of many Virginians. He attempted to honor them for doing the right thing in the aftermath of the war
. In other words, for recognizing their error and doing what they could to re-form a peaceful union. It was a big sea change for nearly half this nation. It is easy to see the moral repugnance of slavery now, but then
it was a despicable yet ingrained institution in the culture of the south and, as a matter of law, the South had an arguable case.
Why are we arguing this issue now? Surely not because it compares to health care reform! Slavery was a prime deprivation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I suppose if impairing the opportunity to pursuit happiness, based on our unequal personal talents, were not an issue (aka, enslavement of the rich and middle class) then providing Obamacare wouldn't be an issue in this nation. But that would require......SOCIALISM, wouldn't it? And, after all, the US was founded as a free trading republic, providing opportunities to improve our own personal outcomes, not guaranteeing those outcomes, wasn't it?
I agree that the Governor should have called it Civil War History Month so as not to imply that the Confederates were in the right. But nonetheless, their actions were honorable after the war
and the Governor's intent is to educate in the best light possible for Virginia's citizenry during the celebration of the Civil War anniversary event.