So the billboard company apologized and removed the image ("Lincoln billboard evokes memory of Dakota 38 hanging," Jan. 30). I am a fan of President Abraham Lincoln, yet I understand the decision to go along with the execution of the 38 was not his finest moment.

However, as the article also pointed out, "The governor of Minnesota in 1862, Alexander Ramsey, had urged Lincoln to allow the execution of 303 prisoners. The president commuted the sentences of all but 38." Is there nothing positive to be said about so many commutations?

Understanding the events and personalities of history is not served by taking slices of them and disregarding the rest. This is a fault of our times: the unwillingness to take a balanced look and engage the mind in weighing the contradictions. It does not serve anyone's understanding to erase images they don't like in order to celebrate or denigrate the whole truth, in either historical or current events.

Carolyn Caufman