Anyone who has read Ray Bradbury will recall the story of burning the books to destroy the past and influence the future to the whims of the leaders.
Are we so blind as to allow the destruction of the statues of the founders, leaders, influential men, icons, and anyone who inspired someone to cast these people in bronze, carve them in stone or paint them on canvas? These monuments should be an inspiration for literate, forward minded people to be inspired to learn why the monument or painting was made.
Who was the artist, why the topic, who was the figure and what they did do to inspire the artist?
Yes, Artist, as you know they work from inspiration and no artist worth his salt no matter if they were paid or not to do the work could do good work without researching the topic and having a feeling for the subject. It does not matter what the subject did but why in history was it enough to inspire a monument.
We should use these monuments to not only Confederate men and women but to our forefathers as well. It does not matter who the person was or what country they came from, if they have a monument to them we need to know why and preserve it.
Did that person mandate it be made by an artist as he was holding his family hostage until completion? Was it commissioned by a group he lead in an honorable manor and gave his life to the cause?
I have noticed in my lifetime many statues destroyed when a ruler was overthrown, an army defeated a dictator, a cause was deemed unjust, and sometimes just pure vandalism but the damage done was not to just the monument it was to the future of mankind and we should keep all monuments as reminders of the past and then reflect on the history from that time forward.
Look not just where we were but how far we have come. In the recent days we have seen statues to many Confederate men and women taken down as radicals who forget that these were men fighting for their way of life, for their home land and for their honor.
Most of these men did not fight for slavery but for their rights as men in a country that they felt was betraying them. Slavery was not the issue many of these men fought for but for the same reasons that we fought to become an independent nation, unfair taxation.
The states that seceded did not succeed because of the slavery issue but for reasons of taxation and they felt they had that right by the Constitution.
Getting back to the original point. It does not matter if it is the pyramids of Egypt, the faces on Mt. Rushmore or the carvings on Stone Mountain, each monument has a past history that is worth our respect and if we are so inspired, we research that monument and learn from its existence.
Whether we feel it is good or bad, we should be inspired to know of its relevance to those who put it there and respect them enough to allow it to remain as a reminder of how far we have come good or bad from when it was erected. The concentration camps of Hitler have not been torn down even though some say there was not a holocaust and they would like them removed.
If all of the symbols of the Civil War are removed, was there a civil war? Will we do as was done in Bradbury’s book burn all memories of the past and destroy all that allows us to learn from it. What will that accomplish?
We should not be willing to destroy the reminders of the past but reflect on the past and see what we have become, what is our present state of mind, are we better than before, can we be better than we are?
Can we become one as a nation as it was designed by a slave owner but when he wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are all created equal” he actually, knowingly, wrote the beginning of the end for slavery?
There will always be those who choose sides but the masses look at the monuments as a reminder and a teaching moment it does not matter who or where monuments and historical items are they should be preserved, studied, and learned from.
Don’t destroy the monuments, they are a reminder that all things take time and that if we do destroy them! Are books next?
Evil lives in the hearts of the destroyers. Compassion springs from the hearts of those who study their history and learn from the past so they are never destined to repeat it.
Bobbie Hulse is a resident of McPherson.