Dear Editor,

As we pause to celebrate this Fourth of July as our independence of our country from England, I hope that we also respect those that helped to cause it to come about: The brave men who risked their lives to fight for and to create the great democracy we enjoy today. Men like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and many more.

These men - and men like them - created a democracy that has existed for over 243 years. Their Declaration of Independence and the government that was formed from it is revered by and copied by other countries. We are the greatest country in the world.

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So, when I see those that wish to tear down their statues I have great pain in my heart as I have known many who have fought and died protecting the principals espoused in that great document. The reason for the desire to tear down these statues and desire to revile these great founders of America was their practice of owning slaves. Now as morally reprehensible slavery is, it was both legal and morally acceptable in the times that these men lived. I do not condone slavery in any form, but I also cannot hold these great men accountable for acts that were practices across the globe for thousands of years prior to their deaths.

These men need to be recognized for their great sacrifices and accomplishments that lead to the creation of the United States of America. Let us not judge a person until we ourselves have "walked a mile in their shoes." Their legacy is our reason for being.

Dr. Jim Kennedy





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