VMI is a very old and distinguised and historic educational institution but it owes those superlatives to the exploits and accomplishments of its alumni. If you erase the accomplishments of its alumni it becomes nothing more than a collection of antiquated stone buildings in need of razing to make way for the next suburban housing development full of cookie-cutter houses. It is only fit and proper that VMI should continue to celebrate its alumni because they are the brick and mortar of the past that we all of us stand upon.

Many years ago I saw this poster hanging in the waiting room of an army medical officer's office:

Note the inscription at lower left. "Much of the history we teach was made by the people we taught."

Undoubtedly the most profound advert for West Point I have ever seen.

And whose image is front and center? None other than Uncle Bob, Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Because in a saner time, West Point took no shame in the fact that Gen. Lee, who graduated second in the West Point class of 1829, was one of the cornerstones of their institution.

RE: the below, I know "Binnie" Peay. I once served under him, but he was only a brigadier (one-star) general then. As fine a gentleman as you are likely ever to meet.

Virginia Military Institute announces it will not remove Confederate statues, building names

The Virginia Military Institute will not remove Confederate statues and building names from its campus, the school's superintendent announced Wednesday.

Retired Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III addressed the campus community in a letter and said that the school founded in 1839 has a past that "has been intertwined with the history of Virginia and the Civil War."

"Unlike many communities who are grappling with icons of the past, VMI has direct ties to many of the historical figures that are the subject of the current unrest," Peay wrote.

One of those figures is Stonewall Jackson, who is displayed as a statue on campus. He was a professor at VMI and fought in the Mexican War before becoming a Confederate general.

"Throughout the years, the primary focus on honoring VMI's history has been to celebrate principles of honor, integrity, character, courage, service, and selflessness of those associated with the Institute," Peay wrote.