Letter: Choose pride in U.S., not shame

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The Aug. 17 Associated Press story “Scholars say Trump wrong to equate Lee, Washington” included the comparison that both Robert E. Lee and George Washington were slave owners but emphasized the contrast of founding father vs. traitor in arms to the nation. I agree with all that but I have another, harsher criticism of Lee.

He attended West Point, was educated at government expense and upon graduation swore a commissioning oath to preserve, protect and defend the United States of America. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army, saw combat in the Mexican War and commanded the federal troops that captured John Brown at Harpers Ferry. However, when push came to shove, he broke his oath and chose Virginia, secession and slavery over the United States, union and freedom.

Anyone who is proud to be an American should be deeply grateful for George Washington. Anyone who is proud to be an American cannot admire Lee.