Honorable Mention, Junior Essay Contest 2009
Claire Hensley, 7th Grade
Teacher: Cassandra Evans
School: Hannah Beardsley Middle, Crystal Lake, IL
"It’s Our Turn: Fight to Save Civil War Battlefields"
The whispers of the other tourists and the feeling of sorrow gave the Pearl Harbor memorial an eerie sensation. As I walked down the long white bridge that crossed over the watery grave of the U.S.S. Arizona, I realized that our country had been through a lot of terror, fear and sorrow to claim and maintain its liberty.
I have never been to a Civil War battlefield, but I imagine that being there makes people feel the same way being at Pearl Harbor made me feel. Being there is different than reading about these places on the Internet or in a textbook. People feel the sorrow and the pain associated with the event or battle in question, and start to understand what freedom means to our country. If you destroy this reminder of the brave people who fought and died for our rights, then what will future generations learn from?
After visiting just one of the war memorials spread throughout America, I had a more thorough understanding of the significance of World War II. I want to be able to go and visit other historical sites from other wars, especially the Civil War. If the North hadn’t won the war we might be two nations: the North and the South. We wouldn’t’ be the same country we are today. Maybe we would still even have slavery.
I like shopping as much as the next thirteen year old girl but nothing is worth destroying these historical sites. Please reconsider your plans. Remember, you can’t buy history at a mall.