Opinions were not based on the facts

Published 9:32 am Monday, July 27, 2015

I just read, with great attention, Mr. Maneely’s  letter to the Tribune on July 21. He has strong views about the Confederacy, Nazi Germany, the Civil War, rural education, and the cities of Hartland and Albert Lea. I believe strong opinions are a good thing. I further support his right to keep his money at home and believe whatever he chooses to believe. I just wish his opinions were based on fact and not righteous ignorance. Albert Lea mapped this area in the 1830s as a part of the Kearney expedition. He was a young West Point officer from Tennessee.  He served in the Confederate Army because he believed his state had a right to secede from the union. His son was a Union sailor, an Annapolis graduate. The son was killed in the Battle of Galveston Harbor. From his letters, Major Lea hated the war but did what he believed to be his duty.

I taught in Albert Lea for many years with some of the best educators I have ever known. According to personal experience and state, local and national testing results, education here is doing very well, thank you. I personally know many fine citizens who live in the south, including my brother and his family. His children have two doctorates and a Master of Science in special education and don’t hate anyone. You paint with a very wide brush.

In my opinion, a decent young man chose foolishly to make a statement that most of us don’t agree with. How does that make a city, its citizens and its officials hateful people? I have studied Major Lea, history and the Civil War. I wish you would review your facts, but from your tone, I suspect your mind is already made up, much like those you are vilifying. Let’s move on from yesterday’s news. I invite you to see a presentation about Major Lea and his experiences next time we do one, and you won’t have to pay a single penny for it.

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Rory Mattson

Albert Lea