Lee was no hero; he fought for an unjust cause, and he lost. Unlike the Founding Fathers (even the slaveholders among them), he failed the basic test of history: leaving the world better and freer than he found it. And while he was not responsible for the South’s strategic failures, his lack of strategic vision places him below Grant, Sherman and Winfield Scott in any assessment of the war’s greatest generals. We should not be building new monuments to him, but if we fail to understand why the men of his day revered him, we are likelier to fail to understand who people revere today, and why. And tearing down statues of Lee today is less about understanding the past than it is a contest to divide the people of today’s America, and see who holds more power. That’s no better an attitude today than it was in Lee’s day.
Did you know that "Mom" ranks #1 as the hero for most teens? That's what we found from our national teen writing contest on the concept of heroes. From Lady Gaga to Oprah to Gandhi to their English teacher, over 2,650 students visited our writing contest and hundreds of high school and college students nominated a personal hero by submitting a 500 word essay. At the bottom of this page, you'll also find the national press release which ran on PRNewswire immediately after the contest wrapped up that shares our summary and observations about teens and their heroes.