President Lincoln wouldn't cede a square inch of the United States to the Confederates, and Virginia shouldn't do so today. It is absolutely appropriate for the National Park Service to erect monuments to any U.S. president anywhere in the country it chooses [Metro, Dec. 28]. We are one nation, indivisible, and it is 140 years past time for the Confederates to recognize that.

Recently I have seen, in Fairfax County, a couple of appalling bumper stickers. One read, "I have a dream," with an image of the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia flying over the White House. Another proclaimed, "I ride with Forrest," indicating an allegiance with Nathan Bedford Forrest, the most notorious war criminal of the Civil War, who went on to found the Ku Klux Klan terrorist organization.

Richmond is the capital of Virginia and nothing more. The avenue of monuments to Southern heroes and the "shrine" to Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson near I-95 are embarrassments.

I would never advocate forgetting our history. The near destruction of our nation must be remembered. But it was never honorable for U.S. Army officers who swore to defend the United States to take up arms against our country. The military prowess of an enemy is no cause to honor him.

It is time for today's Confederates to take off their itchy woolen reenactment uniforms (although they can reenact it all they want -- it won't change the outcome) and join the rest of us in addressing the challenges of the 21st century.

DAN CARNEY

Herndon