I’m deeply disappointed that Rep. Jim Hagedorn voted July 23 to keep Confederate statues in the U.S. Capitol. Every other representative from Minnesota, in both parties, voted to remove these monuments to traitors.

Supporting the Confederacy is as un-Minnesotan as you can get. Our state saved the United States during the Civil War. The First Minnesota Infantry secured the crucial victory at Gettysburg by courageously charging the enemy line, despite being badly outnumbered.

Over 200 Minnesotans are buried on that battlefield, including young men from the part of the state that Hagedorn claims to represent. An enemy Confederate flag that they captured that day, now a prized possession of the Minnesota Historical Society, is still stained with the blood of Minnesota heroes.

Growing up in Georgia as the descendant of Confederate soldiers, I inherited an understanding of the Civil War that glorified the “lost cause” of the Confederacy. Only later did I learn that the Confederacy stood for the enslavement of human beings and the dissolution of the United States of America.

Since moving to Minnesota 11 years ago, I’ve become proud to claim this part of my new home state’s history. I don’t understand why my congressman isn’t proud of it, too.

Rep. Hagedorn, why on earth would you defend the legacy of traitors and slaveholders, instead of the rich heritage of the good people of your own district?

Blake Couey

St. Peter

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