Civil War monument brings reminder that should prompt pride
We live in an age when it is not cool to remember and be reverent of history.
Everything is in the here and now.
History is something that happened 20 minutes ago.
There is great risk in forgetting or not revering the history that is part of all of us.
History is the starting point to a path of living in our country that is supposed to make us special.
Without that foundation, we run the risk of not being special anymore.
And there are tons of examples of recent vintage that indicate many Americans have forgotten how special they are.
In a recent poll, barely over 50 percent of those surveyed viewed the America they live in as exceptional.
Against that backdrop, we were heartened by recent ceremonies rededicating the Civil War monument outside the Old City Hall building on Pine Street.
The monument with the tall bugler somehow goes unnoticed much of the time in downtown Williamsport.
But the bugler has quite a tale to tell. The Civil War divided and put at risk these United States of America more than 150 years ago.
An estimated 6,000 Lycoming County men fought in that war, and many paid the ultimate cost their lives.
They are in graves throughout the county.
The monument, dedicated 120 years ago, stands as the reminder of that difficult conflict, the divisiveness that brought on, the unity that was the end result.
We need these reminders today more than ever, because it seems the political divisiveness of our times is threatening to bury the rich history and difficult challenges that brought the country to where it is today.
The monument and the preserved Old City Hall building behind it are reminders of our exceptionalism.
Rather than being ashamed of this exceptionalism, as some of our leaders seem to be, we should be proud of it.
We salute those who teach this country’s history to their children every day in our homes. If you aren’t doing that, you should start.
At a time when patriotic traditions seem to be taboo in many of our schools, we fervently hope our teachers are recreating the reality of America’s history for their students.
The monument at the Old City Hall building stands tall and proud.
And so should we.
We are not big on showoffs, but when it comes to this country’s history, the challenges it has overcome, the shared experience that has made us special, we are okay with a little bragging.
Don’t be afraid to toot your horn like that bugler about the country you live in.