“He fought the war as honorably as he could, motivated not to preserve slavery but to repulse the North’s invasion of Virginia.”
Lee should not be honored any more than Rommel.
Do you have a citation in which Lee has condemned the practice of slavery? He defended a country that held as its cornerstome the right to keep slaves. He obviously felt that the State of Virginia had the “right” to rape, murder, exploit, buy and sell human beings of colour, and so deserved to benefit from his exceptional skills as a soldier and a commander.
I lived in Germany for 9 years. Everyone agrees that General Erwin Rommel was one of the most valiant and successful commanders in history. Like Lee, he often succeeded even when he was outnumbered and outgunned by a superior force. Like Lee, he fought on the losing side.
And yet there is not a single statue to him in all of Germany. Not one school named after him. Not one street. Not one building.
There is no “Adolf Hitler Middle School”
There is no “Hermann Goering State Park”
The Germans have made herculean efforts to come to terms with their history, so that it might never happen again. The Americans, however, failed to do a similar “rehabilitation” after the Civil War. The Southerners were allowed to keep their guns and their version of the war — why it was fought, how it was fought, and how and why it ended.
They were allowed to revere leaders whose sworn duty and oath of allegiance was to a state that was built on slavery.
And let us not forget, those who fought for the CSA were the very definition of traitors. They literally took up arms against their country, fought against their government. Not a single one would have hesitated to assassinate the POTUS if he had the chance.
And eventually, one of them did.