Last Saturday I filmed my part in the pilot for 'Why the Civil War Matters' a seven part series I'm hosting. It was a long Saturday.
As we approach the launch Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War and the four years to follow, there will be much talk among historians and those interested in the Civil War about this battle or that battle. There will be much rehashing of the events and personalities that made up those four tumultuous and bloody years.
Yet, for the rest of America – those who are neither historians nor from that interest group – is their any real reason to keep looking backwards? Does the American Civil War still have any value or impact as to who we are, what this nation is, good or bad?
The truth is, if the line to immigrate into this country is longer than the line to immigrate into any other country on earth, it is because of the American Civil War. The American Civil War is not something reserved for those whose ancestors fought on one side or the other or because our ancestors were freed from enslavement. The American Civil War is important if you came over from Ecuador last year. For if you are throwing your lot with this country, the American Civil War is at the foundation of why, whether you ever understand it or not.
My goal is to help us better understand why the Civil War matters at this time in our history as much as it ever has, if not even more. If we are to remain that nation that 620,000 men and boys died for, we must understand what they gave us through their sacrifice.