May 22, 2009

Northern Aggression

Posted in Nerdiness, Past, Present, The Who, The Why at 9:34 am by Dagny Taggart

When one attends Ye Merrye Olde College, one makes the acquaintance of a number of personages from the capital of the Confederacy.  And one learns that for a good part of the population, what one first heard of as the American Civil War is correctly referenced as the War of Northern Aggression.

If one is from the land of milk and honey, and has been deprived of real bagels and lox, not to mention iced tea that won’t cause spontaneous diabetes, one might suggest to such personages that they don’t know a thing about northern aggression… yet.

Ahem.

I’ll be spending most of the weekend sorting and packing up the things that outline my life – if I’m lucky, I’ll find the time for a barbeque and beers with friends.

In the spirit of the holiday, though, I leave you with this thought:  Northerners may have been aggressors, depending on your point of view, but dang, men from Illinois have a way with words:

“All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull and other hinds slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon the Nation’s gratitude—the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.”

excerpted from General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

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5 Comments »

  1. I’ve never understood that — it’s like calling the Pacific aspect of WWII “The War of American Aggression”: are you kidding me? The Confederacy fired the first shots! You don’t get to start a war and then blame the other side for being aggressive. Well of COURSE the other side is being aggressive! That’s how enemies do in war — they’re aggressive against each other! But you certainly don’t get to start one and then whine when the other guys win.

  2. I attended university well below the Mason-Dixon and heard that phrase very often. Despite the questionable intent behind some uses, I always found it a slightly charming affectation of southerners.

  3. AliasFaux said,

    Just to make argument, if a gang, armed to the teeth, walked up to your house, and started shouting threats through the windows, and you shot first, you could make a pretty decent case that it was their aggression that started it.

  4. Malnurtured Snay: One of the great things about this country, and its devotion to freedom of speech, is that you kind of DO get to start a war and then whine about it when the other guys win. Just like the winners get to openly gloat and consider themselves superior. Even if it makes both sides jackasses.

    restaurant refugee: I found that it was charming in some cases, and in others, slightly disturbing. It all depends on the delivery, I think.

    Alias Faux: Well, that’s an interesting argument. Of course, if the residents of the house were plotting to overthrow the government, and the “gang” was comprised of government officials, the finger pointing becomes even more nuanced, no? 😉

  5. AliasFaux said,

    Overthrow does not = abandon, as I understand it.


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