2013 Essay Contest Honorable Mention, Junior Division

Brandon Laliberte

Teacher: Joan Simard
School: East Auburn Community School | Maine

Preserving 150 Years of History 1862-1863, Shifting Tides

“We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that our nation might live.” -- Abraham Lincoln

These words were spoken by the 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, one of the bravest and boldest men of the Civil War.  The preservation of our Civil War battlefields, such as the Antietam Battlefield, is important for men, women, young, and old to enjoy what we fought and struggled for... our freedom to “Live long and prosper,” as Spock would say.  To see what the future holds, you must solve the problems of the past, that is exactly what our brethren did... they solved a crisis, a sickening act known as slavery. 

These battlefields teach us the morals that others learned at a time of a war against our friends and family, against ourselves. To preserve our memories of a war is a great thing. Preservation is a word everyone should learn. America is a country that has survived two World Wars, a Revolutionary War, and a Civil War. We are a strong country, and now we need to face the challenges of war, civil rights and terrorism. By preserving our battlefields, we will tell our grandchildren about what we learned about our country's struggles and brawls, about this great land's destiny, what we fought our friends and family for... rights of all to be free. The North’s victory over the Confederates was an important and historical event that shifted the whole war upside down!

Without the shifting tides, we would still have slavery and corruption, and a nation still divided.  We need to learn and celebrate the victories of our forefathers, and remember the sacrifices that were made to create a country that is free for all.

1. Lincoln, Abraham. Retrieved on April 25, 2013 from http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/gettyb.asp                       
2. Nimoy, Leonard. Star Trek: The Original Series, 1966, NBC.

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