Honorable Mention, Junior Essay Contest 2009
Olivia Ross, 8th Grade
Teacher: Peggy Lehman
School: Carmel Middle School, Carmel, IN
"It’s Our Turn: Fight to Save Civil War Battlefields"
When an important event occurs in history, we make attempts to document and preserve that event to the best of our ability. Battlefields are valuable pieces of history that aren’t just written on paper or stories passed on from generation to generation. They honor and represent the many people who fought for our country and are significant to our national heritage. To replace these battlefields with stores or supermarkets, of which we already have abundance, would not only disrespect those who fought for us and their families, but our country as well. The families of those who died and experienced a loss during the Civil War would feel hurt and forgotten. How many mothers lost their sons on the soil that some of us now disregard? How many families waved goodbye to soldiers, only to never see their faces again? Some may regard battlefields as just another patch of land to develop, but one day men walked across that land wondering whether or not they would walk out alive. As our country grows older, the Civil War becomes less and less real and we know fewer people who are connected to it. The battlefields give us something to look back at and reflect on. We also may lead future soldiers to question if their service will be respected throughout history.
Preservation of the battlefields shows that we honor those who have fought for our country and pay respect to them. There are many ways to interpret historical sites. Preserving them and spreading the knowledge to future generations will later result in respect and honor for our country and the soldiers who fought and will fight so hard for the life we live today.