Yesterday, we visited the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on the Hudson River side of Manhattan. I discovered that the Intrepid was one of the aircraft carriers whose planes my father may have directed to refueling stations as a radio operator on Leyte Island during the naval Battle of Leyte Gulf (while the battle for the island was going on around him). We also toured the Growler, a submarine in use in the early 1960s.
While watching a video in line to get on the sub, I was struck by a section on the history of submarines. After talking about the lack of success of the Turtle in the Revolution (an attempt to find a way to break the British blockade), the story turned to another blockade of American coasts, almost a century later. The blockaders were explicitly compared to those British of the earlier war and were not named as anything other than “the enemy.” The hero of the segment was a “Confederate planter” identified as a “patriot,” a man named H. L. Hunley. My jaw dropped.
How could anyone, there, at a museum dedicated to the armed services of the United States, find it acceptable to refer to the United States Navy as “the enemy” and call a rebel against the country a “patriot”?