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My Thoughts On The Crisis of Removing Our Historical Monuments
A 225 year old obelisk of Christopher Columbus destroyed in Baltimore by cowards in the night.
The horrors of slavery have been litigated over many years.Isn't it time for real dialogue? Or is it too late?
I am linking an article to this hub about Gettysburg leaving all monuments intact on the battlefield.
I was glad to read this.
If you have never visited our nation's historic battlefields, and despite what seems to be a trend to destroy our history, and especially if you have children...I would highly recommend making plans to see at least Gettysburg and Antietam.
We were moved to tears while standing on the battlefields of Antietam as we read the account on the markers of what happened that day known as the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.
If I had to put into words why I feel it's more important to preserve the history of the war between the states I would say this:
The Civil War has been widely viewed as a dark time in our country's history. But all nations have those dark times and have emerged stronger and better despite what so many consider a time worthy of cleansing from our history. We all know, logically, that removing artifacts, books, writings, paintings, statues, monuments which might be considered, by today's standards, to evoke fear in certain people, is a useless, expensive and downright futile attempt to forget what was. But even more than all of those, it is a dangerous undertaking. Remember the book burnings of Germany. Do we really want to go down the road of no end in our country? Where does this end? Are we destined now to see the statues in Statuary Hall inside the Capitol Building destroyed? Are we going to alter the Jefferson Memorial? Will our National Anthem, which has already faced backlash via football players who take a knee during it's playing, be abolished? Where will this end?
Aren't we a better people, a better society and indeed a better nation for having learned from the travesty of slavery?
Try though you might...you cannot erase what was.
Anyone who has lived through their own dark past knows this to be true. You cannot rid yourself of memories from a time where harm was done. But you can learn from it and make a better life for yourself and those around you.
That is exactly why we need to take a step back and take a deep breath and really think through what is happening in our country.
Removing Confederate statues etc will only relieve the pain some people claim to feel when they see these statues, for a brief period of time. Unless the real issues are examined and discussed, the pain will remain and taking down statues is like putting a bandaid on a wound that refuses to stop bleeding.
The analogy I used of having lived through any personal crisis in anyone's life, is worth thinking about. If you cannot face the demons in your past, no matter what they were or who you are, then you are bound to allow them to guide your future.
I am sure there are good and decent people on the side of wanting the statues to be removed. Equally, I am sure that there are not so good and not so decent people who are enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame by becoming the darlings of social media as they trample through the night, dressed in black, wielding sledge hammers and spray paint.
If someone is representative of the former group, then you are the people who should insist that your voices be heard by government officials in municipalities.
If you are representing the latter group, you are breaking the law. You are destructive forces. You need to be dealt with. YOU are part of the problem and nowhere near part of the solution. For the solution is much, much greater than knocking down a Confederate war memorial, wiping your hands as though you've done a good job and then laughing with your compatriots at your handiwork.
Our battlefields are the truest reminder of a time when our country was vastly different from the country we live in today. It wasnt good, it wasnt evil...it just was. It was a time of the times. If you were born into a family who owned slaves, you, yourself, more than likely also became a slave owner. It's just the way it was. We look back at slavery thru the prism of how we feel about it today. That changes an awful lot of the perception of that age of America.
Instead of demonizing what no longer exists except perhaps in the minds of people who need to fuel their anger and hatred at something, anything, by violently tearing down a statue, we should instead be looking at the Civil War and the times around it as a part of our past and our history that we are grateful we have evolved from.
And even more than that, be grateful that the lessons we learned from the war between the states and continue teaching those who come after us to learn from, will ensure that we never repeat the mistake again.
Gettysburg Monuments Will Stay
- Gettysburg park officials: Confederate monuments here to stay
The Gettysburg National Military Park has not received any complaints or requests related to the monuments, a spokeswoman says.