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A House Divided
Posted at 11:34 AM ET, 06/06/2011

Frank Williams: Have we preserved enough Civil War sites?


Chairman of The Lincoln Forum

How can the critics of battlefield preservation rationalize a position of “enough already” with urbanization consuming these “monuments” of sacred ground? Is there is no logical explanation except to support more growth? To deny the necessity of such preservation is an oxymoron as the saving of battlefield land is not only necessary to preserve our collective memory but to honor those who marched, fought and died on this soil. Even if there is no visible granite monument, the land, as described by Judith Dupre in her splendid “Monuments: America’s History in Art and Memory,” still “celebrate[s] the ideals, achievements and heroes that existed in one moment in time. They commemorate singular individuals, heroic accomplishments, or the millions of lives swept away by war . . .”

Proscribing such places by current boundaries does little to encompass the broad canvas of war with its sacrifice and pain. Sandwiched between “big boxes,” it is nigh impossible to revisit and contemplate our history.

So, let there more battlefield site acquisition for all of us to commemorate and honor valor and sacrifice.

By Frank Williams  |  11:34 AM ET, 06/06/2011

 
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