Honorable Mention, Senior Essay 2009
Breanne Bourelle, 11th Grade
Teacher: Joseph Bellas
School: Tippecanoe High School, Tipp City, OH
"It’s Our Turn: Fight to Save Civil War Battlefields"
It’s important to save our Civil War battlefields because they hold our nation’s history. Civil War battlefields are the only living reminders we have of the bloodiest dispute in American history. The combination of casualties in all other American wars in history doesn’t add up to the 600,000 losses caused by the Civil War. The war created a shift in American politics and government structure. Some states’ histories were formed on these battlefields. The war gave an oppressed race rights that they never had the chance to experience before. Never before in history had blacks had the right to hold office or vote. It is the only war in which Americans fought Americans. Our country was divided into two and the sacred battlefields on which the conflict was fought should be national monuments and shrines to American courage, heroism and spirit. Americans made their greatest sacrifices on these hallowed grounds, and they must be protected. The battlegrounds are a living reminder of the conflict that nearly ripped our country apart. They must be preserved so we don’t’ forget the American struggle and so nothing like it ever happens again. I’ve personally been to a few Civil War battlefield sites and walking across them gives you the feeling of being there, and it gives people some idea of what the nation went through. These national treasures cannot be replaced and it is our responsibility to preserve them for future generations of Americans. If we lose these sites then we might lose the memory of the valor and heart of the Americans who fought there. Once these places are gone, we can never get them back.