Honoring History

Written by Jenn Sadai

Our history is our greatest asset. It holds all mankind’s impressive achievements, as well as the biggest blunders and most shameful secrets from our past. It shows how our world has survived and progressed over time. The good and bad aspects of our history should always be studied and honored.

That’s not the same thing as honoring historic individuals who contributed to the worst moments in our history. We can’t sweep the horrors of slavery under the rug and forget it ever happened. Yet, we should remove all statues and monuments that celebrate the lives of those who captured and tortured human beings. It would make more sense to replace slave owner statues with statues of the brave people who built the Underground Railroad and freed the slaves. Those are the lives that deserve to be celebrated.

No Statues of Hitler

There are no statues of Hitler in Germany and the Nazi flag has been banned. This was not done as an attempt to erase history, but out of respect for the Jewish community. The evil behind the Holocaust and the impact of World War II are still taught in schools all over the world. Auschwitz remains a tribute to the lives lost in concentration camps. The value in the history is preserved without praising the disturbed minds behind the gruesome genocide.

Would Americans want statues of the terrorists from 9/11 displayed in New York? Of course not! Instead, they built a monument to the thousands of lives that were lost. Americans choose to celebrate the brave fireman who risked their lives, not the evil doers who put their lives in jeopardy.

Try thinking about how it would feel if your ancestors were subjected to brutal slavery. Would you want a large bronze statue commemorating their oppressor? Taking down the statue will not erase history, but it will remove a giant reminder that there was once a time when African Americans were segregated, beaten and forced to work against their will.

Our history holds critical lessons. We need to be vigilant to ensure the mistakes of our ancestors are not repeated. If we focus on the good that rose from the tragedies and honor those who sacrificed their lives through the treacherous learning process, we can make certain the same discrimination and devastation doesn’t reoccur.

The worst possible outcome would be allowing a dispute over preserving history and statues to reignite a race war in a country that is already terribly divided. If history has taught us anything, it should be the dangers of allowing our differences of opinion to tear us apart. We need to find some common ground and move forward. Although our history is important, our future is what really matters.

 

Jenn Sadai is a Canadian author and advocate who’s just crazy enough to think she can change the world. Jenn shares her stories of surviving domestic violence, depression, and workplace bullying in hopes that it will help others cope and heal. She is the author of Dark Confession of an Extraordinary, Ordinary Woman, Dirty Secrets of the World’s Worst Employee, and Cottage Cheese Thighs. Website

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