Letter to the Editor: We must honor all veterans

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

On this upcoming Veterans Day our families wish to remember all of our veterans, including our family members who served in all of the major wars from the Gulf War to Vietnam, Korea, World War II, World War I, the Spanish-American War, and the Civil War.

We are disappointed with the removal of the statues of Confederate generals, thereby contributing to rewriting U.S. history. We believe that these statues were placed to commemorate the service of some brilliant military minds and that they were not meant to be racist. About 150 Confederate generals graduated from West Point and served during the Civil War. The Civil War was fought to preserve the Union, and many Americans from the North and South fought huge battles which raged from 1861 to 1865, and they are part of our history.

Our family relates to the experiences of two members who fought in many battles during the Civil War. Sargent First Class (SFC) John B. Jones, my wife's [Elizabeth Ann (Jones) Moskowitz] grandfather, and William E. Jones, my wife's great uncle, were from the Arcade/Sandusky, NY area and were in an upstate New York cavalry regiment.

The following are excerpts from a few of SFC John B. Jones's letters to his sister Ann Jones: "Madison Court House, VA, August 8, 1862 — Last week there were three regiments of us sent out from Culpepper to Orange Court House. The rebels fell back to the village. G and H companies had an awful fight with them for a little while; Centerville, VA, Oct. 29, 1862 — Well, Ann, we had a very severe skirmish with the rebels since we left camp. There were two regiments of our cavalry on picket duty in a place called Thoroughfare Gap. The rebels came out one morning and drove them out; Amosville, VA, July 27th, 1863 — We crossed the Rappahannock River... a part of our division had a right smart skirmish with the rebel Gen. Longstreet's corps.; Stevensburg, VA, Dec. 6, 1863 — Our division was left on the left side of the Rapidan River. The rebels had strong rifle pits... They tried to shell us out of those buildings... The 2nd New York Cavalry relieved us; March 7th, 1865 — Was taken prisoner on Mount Jackson in Shenandoah Valley."

John was force-marched to Staunton, VA then to Charlottesville, and then ended up in a prison in Richmond. He was released on April 4, 1865 in the area of Annapolis, MD.

We should not be obliterating U.S. history. Leave the statues standing, and honor all veterans.

Elizabeth Ann (Jones) Moskowitz
Donald Moskowitz
Former AG2 & LT., U.S. Navy
Londonderry, NH