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Opinion: A ‘new birth of freedom’ takes on cancel culture

In his new best-selling book, “The President and the Freedom Fighter,” Brian Kilmeade examines the slavery movement in America, showing the trials that confronted President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass as the divided nation plunged into Civil War.

Kilmeade dedicates his book to “all the teachers who have dedicated their careers to showing young learners that America is a truly exceptional nation - not because we are perfect, but because we try to be.”

He also sends a clear message to all protesters and proponents of the cancel culture movement who target and tear down symbols of our national heritage: Learn about it, don’t condemn it, and don’t be arrogant about it.

The long knives of history’s revisionists were out in 2020, spurring young radicals who went about tearing down statues of historic figures including Columbus, Washington, Grant and almost anyone connected to the Civil War.

One statue on the vandals’ hit list was the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln Park, which depicts a freed slave at the side of President Lincoln. The fact that the president who emancipated the slaves is standing above a black man on one knee stoked the fires of “systemic racism” which has become a political battle cry for the liberal left.

After examining and researching the history of the monument, Kilmeade found that the statue actually depicts a muscular African-American named Archer Alexander breaking his chains and rising up in American society.

His book also analyzes the speeches of Lincoln and Douglass, including the Gettysburg Address. Regarding Lincoln’s address on the hallowed battlefield in central Pennsylvania 158 years ago, Kilmeade explained that at that moment the president no longer regarded the war as a battle to restore the union to what it had been. His new goal was to reconstitute the nation based upon human liberty, making explicit what was implied in the Declaration of Independence.

Lincoln spoke of a “new birth of freedom” in his vision for the nation.

There are modern-day patriots like Sen. Joni Ernst in politics and businessmen like Bill Kraus and Steve Newton, the founders of Mission BBQ, who are doing their best to carry out Lincoln’s dream of preserving our liberties.

Thanks to the bipartisan work of lawmakers like Ernst and Reps. Jason Crow and Mike Gallagher, a long-overdue memorial to honor veterans of the Global War on Terrorism will be built on the National Mall.

A new bill now requires the National Park Service to work with the Global War on Terrorism Foundation to find a location. Final design for the memorial will come from an arts competition. The overriding theme, according to the foundation, will avoid the whys and hows of the war and instead focus on what mattered in the service and sacrifice of troops and their families.

The Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation received a major financial boost last Friday when Mission BBQ donated $1.4 million. According to its website, Mission BBQ is dedicated to helping “the men and women who serve our community and country and do what they can for firefighters, police officers, first responders and soldiers.”

Bill Kraus, who co-founded the restaurant chain with Steve Newton, said before opening the doors in Sept. 11, 2011, they took a hard look on their mission. They felt it was important to thank our heroes in order to show how fortunate we are to have them serving our community and our country.

Since its opening a decade ago, the restaurant, which is still growing rapidly, has kept up a daily tradition in each of its 109 stores of pausing at noon in order to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” and salute the flag of the United States.

In the battle to preserve our national heritage from the cancel culture movement, we’re fortunate to have modern day freedom fighters like Brian Kilmeade, Bill Kraus and Steve Newton on the front lines.

By Jim Zbick | tneditor@tnonline.com

The foregoing opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board or Times News LLC.