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Concord, NH — We are a very young country. Compared to the centuries that countries in Europe have existed, America is a preteen in the scheme of global history. One of the things I have always admired is the love, almost a reverence, for our history.
From the days the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 to the present day, we have documented our journey with plaques and monuments. In museums, parks, libraries, and municipal buildings, we have placed memories of our voyage with monuments so that future generations will have a sense of who we were and how we got to today.
I remember as a young boy in Lawrence, Massachusetts, walking through the Common downtown and seeing the statues and monuments commemorating prominent people in our history as well as sculptures memorializing the wars our ancestors fought to ensure the life we enjoy. It always gave me a sense of pride, as well as a feeling of humility, to see these monuments and read the plaques that marked the years and decades of America’s existence. I always assumed they would be there forever for young boys in the future to admire. I was wrong.
Many people in this country do not enjoy the same pride in our history as I do. Some think that our past is tainted and that our ancestors did much harm to the land and the natives as they formed this country we call America. Some even think that our land exists today only because of the blood, sweat, and tears of the slaves that were used to build the U.S.A. Because of these beliefs, these people want to erase our history and rewrite the story of how we got to be the greatest country on the planet. One of the ways this is done is to destroy or remove the statues and monuments that many of us have enjoyed for our lifetime.
This destruction of our history accelerated in 2020 during the summer of discontent. Riots, looting, destruction, occupation of entire areas of some cities, and the rewriting of our history changed many of our larger cities and changed the view of America for many. Fueled by B.L.M., the focus started in the South with monuments celebrating men who had a role in the Confederacy.
The Civil War was a terrible time for our young country, but it led to the eradication of slavery. It was a massive step towards civil rights in America, and all sides of the issue need to be understood and remembered. Erasing it from our history is a disservice to all Americans but especially the young people who need to know where we grew from as a country.
The movement then aimed at our founding fathers. These men had grown up with black servants as “slavery” at many levels had been the norm for centuries. Many of our forefathers took steps to change that tradition in America, but that was not enough for some. Those not satisfied wanted those people from our past stricken from our history. Statues toppled, and even names of schools changed to erase the connection with Washington, Jefferson, and even Lincoln.
We had seen a slowdown in the movement until last month when lame-duck Mayor DeBlasio took two more steps to erase Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt from N.Y.C. memories. The bust of Jefferson was removed from City Hall Chambers, and the statue of Teddy on his horse was taken from the steps on the Library.
Instead of focusing on how far we have come as a nation, DeBlasio joined the anti-American cause. Instead of pointing to his wife as the first Black First Lady of New York, he conforms to the Woke. He could have seized the moment to make a positive statement but chose to cater to the Progressives who only want to dwell on our negatives. It is a sad move and one of many that DeBlasio will leave with us.
We can only hope that any reference to Bill DeBlasio or Andrew Cuomo can be erased so effectively from the minds of the good people of New York. They deserve better, and we can only hope that a lesson is learned from this time in history so it does not repeat.
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