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Opinion: VNMP is a place where history is preserved and honored

When reporting on a story late last week about legislation approved by the U.S. House of Representatives that included a provision calling for the removal of Confederate monuments and images from national parks, we were told: “not to worry about it.”

We were told the wording that would require the National Park Service to remove those monuments and images from national parks — from places like Vicksburg and Gettysburg — would not become law. We were told any Senate legislation would not include the provision and that it was not very likely that any such provision would make it out of Congress.

But we do worry about it. That starts with what we consider best and ends with not understanding how such a bill made it this far in our national legislative process.

Base history should remain for all to learn and seek to understand how we got from there to here. Such is vital for us to heal and move forward. The history lessons are invaluable and they provide us understanding of a wise statement of the late President Abraham Lincoln who said in his rise to that post,  a “house divided cannot stand.”

Many think us there again. We hope not. But what he said still relates.

The Vicksburg National Military Park teaches history to all, and it recognizes people from all over our country who participated in making that history. It does not focus on the Confederacy or the Union — it provides a place where one can learn our history of  so many lives lost that remain immortalized in our history.

It is a place where people are honored and history is preserved.

Such does not deserve to be disassembled, or that learning opportunity destroyed.

This legislation came with the support of one of our own elected officials. U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson. Rep. Thompson’s support of the bill is troubling.

We hope this legislation will not pass the U.S. Senate.

Many worked hard to give our country and Vicksburg this facility, and we hope wisdom will be found in the Senate to preserve it.

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