As a history major, I was excited when my USC history covered the history of the H.L. Hunley. To my astonishment and disgust, most of my classmates engaged in unrestrained mockery of the crew and called them “stupid” for embarking on a potential suicide mission. Where is the respect for these men who sacrificed all for South Carolina?
I argue paving the way for modern naval warfare is not stupid but rather extraordinarily brave. Were the Wright brothers stupid? The Doolittle Raiders? Our forefathers at Lexington and Concord?
I do not want a lesson about bravery from those in my generation, who need safe spaces and free-speech zones on campus to protect their feelings but laugh at men who willingly gave up their lives. I think it is in very bad taste. The Hunley was a revolutionary idea, and the designer and its crews were pioneers who knew the dangers. That to me is respectable and honorable.