In Lebanon, Tennessee, a group of veterans got wind of a rumor that their local war memorial was going to be targeted for toppling by protesters.
Instead of sitting around and watching footage of it on the nightly news, wondering if the statue-toppling could have been prevented if we only listened more closely to the property-destroyers, they decided to do something about it.
They got their rifles and they started keeping watch.
“A show of force can be a very powerful deterrent. We’re not here to fight, unless we have to,” Keith Sikora, one of the vets keeping watch, told WKRN-TV in nearby Nashville.
“It’s a big target because who else gave more for this country than the ones who gave their life? And if you’re on the other side and you hate this country, the way they’re portraying the way they hate it, this is the best target to hit.”
Sikora began the watch on June 22. He’s since been joined by others, including fellow Marine Corps vet Joe Hester.
Hester made it clear they weren’t being violent or racist, because apparently that’s something you need to do in 2020.
“I’m not here to promote violence. I’m not here against any race whatsoever. I’m for all good people and all good things in this country and preserving them,” Hester said.
He also expressed frustration with those who necessitated his presence at the statue.
“What I’ve seen across the nation in certain cities — these violent thugs all in the name of being against racism, attacking innocent people, burning down cities, destroying communities and intimidating innocent people — has angered me so much that I’m tired of sitting back and talking about it,” Hester said.
Sikora pointed out one of the great ironies of destroying memorials to the war dead in the name of fighting racism.
“I went and served this country for the country and everybody in it. My Marines and I, we’re not black, we’re not white, we’re not Mexican or Chinese. We all call each other green — different tone of green, but we’re all green. That’s how we were trained, that’s how we think, that’s the way we are now,” Sikora said.
“We don’t stand against any particular race. We stand for them. We stand behind the Constitution that all men are created equal, and we will fight and die for that.”
“These people aren’t coming here with just words. … These are people who are trying to tear down this country. That’s what I stand against.”
The standard conservative line against historical revisionism via statue-toppling is that once you start at more historically dodgy figures, you end up at Washington and Jefferson.
We were wrong, however.