The Confederate States of America seceded from the Union and, by firing on Fort Sumter, declared war on the United States of America. These Confederate generals are not heroes but rather enemy combatants and traitors. That war caused numerous deaths in the United States and the cause was the Southern states’ desire to maintain their way of life, which included the enslavement of African Americans. These generals left their positions in the United States Army, making them deserters as well as enemies of our country.

It is time we stopped honoring those who fought against our country and remove, not only Confederate flags, but all Confederate monuments. How would we feel if Germany started erecting monuments to Hitler and his followers and displaying the Nazi flag? After all, he was a hero to the German people during the entire period of his dictatorship and the Nazi flag flew everywhere. And now it is being displayed in Charlotte.

If your argument is Southern heritage, in addition to 200 years of slavery, this is what Southern heritage really is about. The Confederate flag came into prominence after the Supreme Court ruled that segregation was not legal in 1954’s Brown v Board of Education. This began a horrible period of Southern history with bombings, lynchings, murders, beatings, etc., in the South. Who can forget the bombing of the black church in Birmingham that killed several black children, or the murder of the civil rights workers in Mississippi, or the murder of Martin Luther King Jr.?

The United States of America lost about 620,000 men in the Civil War, which equates to 2 percent of the population, making it the bloodiest war in our history. This is almost equal to the combined deaths in all of our other wars. No one knows how many slaves died as a result of unnatural causes but the number is definitely in the tens of thousands. So, yes, I do see a connection between our Civil War memorials and if Germany did the same for their World War II “heroes.”

Commander Robert Hirsch, USN (ret.), Miramar Beach