Every country has their own history, good and bad. Some of it we wish we could erase, and other moments we wish could be forgotten. But, a lot of lives were lost and destroyed in building the nation we love, many of whom volunteered their own sacrifice, and many who had no choice. To turn our backs on even one second of that history is akin to saying that those who fought to give us a free country are not worthy of our remembrance; that those whose lives were taken by force died in vain. To ignore even one civil liberty is no different than ignoring them all.
I'm not a political person, primarily because I'm too often saddened by the actions of politicians and want no part of the verbal conflict, but I have my beliefs, and though I believe that mankind has the ability to create a better world, I don't believe that can be achieved by trying to erase the past and what it represents. Removing a flag from a pole does not remove the history that flag represents. Telling someone their religious beliefs don't matter because it might offend someone else only serves to insult the very rights given to those who took offense. I love this country, but more, I love what it has always represented.
Equality is an inalienable right given to us all, but that doesn't mean those granted rights should make the rights of anyone else any less important or worthy of the law upholding. It doesn't mean those rights should be used as a tool to force the hand of another because they are afraid of the consequences of their beliefs. I don't believe that any one person has the right to trample on the liberties of another. There are always going to be the good and bad individuals in every majority and minority. We are all individuals, capable of love and hate in equal measure. To hide one or the other behind a political statement is cowardice.
Peace and politics stand on opposite sides of justice, and rarely do they find a common ground, as history has taught us. History, in all its forms, should never be forgotten. It's meant to make us a better people, to learn from the past in order to create a better future.