The National Park Service’s five major Civil War Battlefield parks—Gettysburg, Antietam, Shiloh, Chickamauga/Chattanooga and Vicksburg—drew a combined 10.2 million visitors in 1970. In 2018, a total of 3.1 million people cared to see where Americans gave their last full measure of devotion, according to park service data…a 70% decrease. Gettysburg, the most hallowed ground of all, hosted just 950,000 visitors last year, a paltry 14% of the traffic it received in 1970.
The military-memorabilia store outside of Chickamauga Battlefield now sells significantly more World War II merchandise and items related to other conflicts than it does Civil War-related effects. If it sold marijuana or stocked Pokémon Go accessories it would probably quintuple it sales.
Over 600,000 Americans died to permanently abolish slavery and save the union, more than perished in World Wars I and II combined. But that was a long time ago. We can’t be bothered. Besides, some of those guys were racist. We don’t want to think about that. Can’t deal with it. And they didn’t even have transgender bathrooms! Leftists are unable and/or unwilling to put anything in historical context (though they demand their causes are uncritically, universally and quickly accepted), and therefore do not see the value in history. This is why they deny, denigrate and denude it. After they are done toppling and removing statues, all we’ll have left are monuments to ignorance and apathy. For the most part, the younger generations have not been properly taught about the Civil War and are conditioned to think that nothing truly momentous happened before Woodstock or Watergate. (Or last Thursday, in some cases). The older generations are dying out. With them, sadly, goes the memory of—and often respect for—yesterday’s heroes.
Civil rights have broached a new frontier. Maybe one day a transgender bathroom in, say, Raleigh, North Carolina will become a sacred shrine attracting millions each year. Perhaps the president at the time will make a speech:
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men can be women and all women can be men, if they so desire. Now we are engaged in a great Cultural Civil War, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this bathroom. The brave transgenders, living and dead, who urinated and defecated here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what ‘they’ did here. We here highly resolve that this nation shall have a new birth of gender and bathroom freedom and that unfettered urinating of the transgendered, by the transgendered, for the transgendered, shall not perish from the earth.”
Sadly—tragically—the mystic cords of memory no longer stretch from every Civil War battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land. “The swelling chorus of the Union” is instead comprised of the shrill yet hollow voices of special interest groups, untouched by the better angels of our nature.