In the heart of Oxford there stands a statue of a lone soldier who stares in perpetuity over the place which he once died for. For more than 100 years, the soldier has stood valiantly in memorial to all those who perished alongside him defending their land, but soon the soldier may stare out no more.
Last month, Deputy Attorney General Mike Lanford issued an opinion which granted permission to cities and universities to relocate Confederate war memorials to other similarly public spaces.
A monument, which stands as a reminder to a war that claimed the lives of nearly all of the Ole Miss student population and left the city of Oxford flattened, now has the potential to be removed in the corrupted name of societal progress, which in reality does not seek to advance society, but instead further propagate the politics of victimhood that liberal ideology is centered on.
The call that various politicians will inevitably make to relocate various monuments to “more fitting” locations, since this opinion was issued, will only lead to further relocation of monuments. Eventually, all the places which once served as reminders to days passed will find themselves with voids that could never be replaced.
It is the obligation of all those who call Oxford home to make their voices heard and make it clear that changes of this sort are not welcome in our community.
There must be a concerted national effort by all those who believe in the preservation of history to fully reject any attempts of this nature and hold local officials accountable to their constituents.
We must simultaneously hold liberals accountable for their hypocrisy in calling these monuments destructive, while members of their own faction memorialize such deplorable and radical figures as Yuri Kochiama and Che Guevera.
The fact of the matter is that the effect of the Confederate memorial on the city of Oxford is not to provide a venue to advance or glorify the disgusting ideology of white supremacy, but rather to remember those who came before us.
If we were to destroy, relocate or contextualize this or any monument, we surrender our history to the hands of mob rule, where the loudest among us have the ultimate power to choose what history we remember and what history we forget.
Today, the mob dictates that Confederate memorials should be removed from our cities and forgotten, while tomorrow a new mob could dictate that memorials to civil rights icons such as Martin Luther King Jr. offend those who subscribe to that mob’s ideology and should therefore be removed.
If this were allowed to continue, our streets and our cities would find themselves as barren and colorless as the streets of East Berlin. Our children would learn facts subject to the whims of popular conceptions, instead of being established by truth.
The next time you find yourself walking across the Square, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the Confederate memorial, the stoic nature of the Courthouse and all the other historical places, which transform a small town in north Mississippi into the Oxford we have come to know and love today.
If we do not appreciate and protect these places, there will be nobody to remember their beauty and their message in the future when all the reminders of our past are hidden far away.
Will Hall is a junior journalism major from Atlanta.