Technically, the people who took up arms against the United States — and some off my relatives were among them — committed treason. They were not only on the wrong side of history, they were on the wrong side of patriotism and morality. We can love them and mourn their deaths, for the death of any human being diminished us all, but we cannot in good conscience honor them any more than we can honor the members of the Ku Klux Klan. America cannot live up to its greatness unless it admits its mistakes and works to correct them. Celebrating the Confederacy keeps us mired in the mud of a past of which we as a nation should not be proud.