On This Day...

On this day, July 24, 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the U.S. Civil War.

There are many things I love about my state. I love that we are known as "The Volunteer State" because of the record number of Tennessee men volunteering their "lives and...sacred honor" during the war of 1812. These same men were also noted for an uncommon bravery serving under General Andrew Jackson ("Old Hickory", also a Tennesseean) in the Battle of New Orleans - a strategic US victory in the war of 1812.

But the thing I love the most is that my state was the last to leave the Union, during the Civil War, and was the first to return to it, after the war was over. Say what you will about the War of Northern Aggression, about revisionist history, about the "real reasons" for the Civil War. I have heard both sides of the whole thing. My point is, unity is vital to the success of any endeavor.

It is true that to make a lasting peace, you sometimes have to fight a temporary war. I've seen this played out on the level of personal relationships, as well as the affairs of nations. But it is always the job of the strong and wise to be the last to break relationship, and the first to restore it, when the conditions for peace are met.

Last in leaving. First in putting the country back together. I so love Tennessee.