Erasing sites and monuments

Once upon a time we Americans loved to hear about and visit our historical sites and monuments. Today we are dead set on destroying them in the most thoughtless, and just plain dumbest, ways possible

I believe we are on a irreversible course to erase our very heritage.

Our lawmakers with the aid and support of media give their reasons, of course. They tell us about how their destructive acts are cleansing. They tell us that they are preserving the integrity of America and contend that by preventing our seeing or hearing about our past our reasoning process will not be clouded, and they will take away any structure that could hypothetically be used for that purpose.

Not to long ago we condemned ISIS for wanting to wipe the slate clean with their declared caliphate, thus making it easier to start their rule from scratch. Maybe our leadership could sell a number of our important historical markers, providing them with enough revenue to fund the final destruction of our culture. As a brutal humiliation it might just be better to destroy them than suffer shame.

As I see it, by removing historical markers, they accomplish something far more insidious than a political strategy — they attack and destroy every American’s sense of belonging.

The list of historic properties being removed in whole or in part is growing longer everyday. None of these structures themselves are being worshipped. There’s no magic contained in their bronze and stone. They are, however, symbolic reminders of diversity and belonging. And that is something those on the left cannot tolerate.

By removing these old and treasured monuments current leaderships are erasing any evidence of a growing and developing civilization. When they hide away our past they erase evidence that today’s Americans use to trace their history.

The same holds true for our religious symbols by removing any and all Christian symbols they scrub out any reminder that devout Christians have resided in this space since the 16th century. Next will be our tombs as well as our museums and libraries; they are on a mission to erase any evidence of Americas shared heritage between people of all races.

The removal of historical monuments is tragic and a great loss to all Americans. But such actions are not new — they have occurred for thousands of years as a way of attacking the very identity of a group that might see such monuments and works as a part of its culture. Ancient documents often speak of burning cities and salting the land, showing that it is not just people who were conquered, but their very history had to be destroyed in order to erase their existence. Today we have rules for war that outlaws the intentional destruction of culturally significant monuments, buildings and objects. Yet here we are.

I do not condone violence in any manner. Such destructive acts as we witnessed this past week does not preserve the integrity of who we are neither were the words spoken “You don’t belong here. You have never belonged here.” “Go away.” This is one of the worst lies that hate can tell a person: You don’t belong. Your beliefs doesn’t matter.

Destruction of markers isn’t about the dead past. It’s about us. Today those destructive screams, of some elected officials, are “If you don’t think like us, if you don’t believe as we do, then you don’t belong here. In fact, you don’t deserve to live.”

Its time we all stood us and shouted, “We have lived together for hundreds of years. We are brothers and sisters. You belong! You matter.”

Without tangible, touchable bronze and stone structures to act as reminders, Americans must and will find find another way to tell their story. Who will be the story tellers and what will that story be?

In conclusion, the wanton removal and/or destruction of our cultural monuments will continue so long as we continue to express violence each time it happens.

The perpetrators want just such a reaction. If the removal of objects and sites grab bigger headlines than the ongoing siege of our rights, it will lead to a hopeless people. Fight back at the voting booth.

Robert Ware

French Creek

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