Letter to the Editor: Outrage over inductee unwarranted


Thursday, September 19, 2019

The North Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans strongly disagrees with Rocky Mount Councilman Andre Knight’s characterization of Robert Henry Ricks as “offensive” and “shameful.”

Mr. Ricks, a most deserving and long overdue addition to the Twin County Hall of Fame, was a pillar of the Rocky Mount community and helped make it the great city it is today. His service and accomplishments stand as a source of pride for the people of Rocky Mount and the Twin Counties.

Further, for Councilwoman Chris Miller to suggest that Ricks’ contributions to the local Confederate Memorial would have been more “palatable” had they occurred “right after the Civil War” is wholly ignorant. Not only would it have been impossible for a Confederate Memorial to be erected in a military occupation zone (our state was occupied by federal troops until 1877), the poverty of southern communities that followed the war would prevent the majority of Confederate memorials from being erected until turn-of-the-century economic revitalization, like that led by Robert Ricks, made it financially viable.

Most of all, there should never be an argument of palatability when it comes to honoring American veterans.

There is and was nothing “offensive” or “shameful” about service in the armed forces of the Confederate States. Ricks, like tens of thousands of other North Carolinians, went to war in defense of his home. Their sacrifice, like that of any American veteran from 1776 to 2019, is something that should always be respected and that their descendants and families should always be proud of.

Robert Ricks deserves the honor of being included in the Hall of Fame. His contributions are far more significant and lasting than any of those made by his current detractors. His addition is past due and we look forward to seeing him finally honored. Nothing should eclipse what he gave the people of the Twin Counties — especially not manufactured outrage based on apocryphal modern politics.

R. Kevin Stone, NCSCV division commander