A Change in the Flow of History
So far the Summer of 2015 has been very eventful. First we were shaken to our very basic beings by the murder of nine worshiping Christians in the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, my permanent home, and then we witnessed the most grace-filled act that I have ever seen when the families of the nine victims expressed forgiveness for the young man who was filled with hate for the black race.
Much of this history is not new to me, being a born South Carolinian and married to one. Thrace, my wife, is granddaughter of William King Easley who signed the Articles of the Confederacy, and I am the grandson of James Nathaniel Shirley who was a bugle boy in the Confederate Army. We both acknowledge our history but know what evil was defended by the war championed by the stars and bars battle flag.
And now the flag is down and what does that mean for all of us? I guess the most significant thing for our students at Woodlawn School is that they are witnessing a possible change in the flow of history. A change that could have great significance in the way we view race, and the way we view loyalty.
I was proud to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps under the American Flag, and I am proud to have known a number of the political figures in my home state and know many of them to be fine folks. Senator Marlon Kempson was on the board of Charleston Collegiate School and Governor Carrol Campbell was a Heathwood Hall parent.
Who knows – we might have senators and representatives or even a president attending our school now. I have great faith that we are giving them an education that will “produce independent, lifelong learners who are responsible, contributing members of a diverse, global society.”