Second Place, Junior Essay Contest 2009
Abigail Blum, 7th Grade
Teacher: Tom Lauth
School: Trinity School, Ellicott City, MD
"It’s Our Turn: Fight to Save Civil War Battlefields"
What would you do if something you fought so hard for was going to be destroyed? Maybe you didn’t even fight for it. But others did. What others fought so hard for was being torn down just so American consumers could have another place to buy things. You would feel hurt, like someone had carved a pit in your stomach and it was all empty inside. This is how many people feel today, after the disastrous news that a Civil War battlefield will be destroyed.
“History repeats itself.” This is a saying that my social studies teacher, Mr. Lauth, likes to say all the time. But it’s true. History DOES repeat itself. But no one wants another Civil War to happen again. You need a representation of the past to show future generations. If all evidence of the Civil War was erased, besides words in textbooks, would people believe the Civil War actually happened? Most, if not all people would. But, would people know enough about it to keep it from happening again? You could read about it in a book, sure. But what if you wanted to see w here it happened so you could know the horrific battles that went on during the war? You couldn’t. When you went to a battle site, all you would see would be cars and buildings. Is that what today’s adults want? To have the history of our country buried under shopping malls, and to have tomorrow’s youth not be able to see American history?
“It’s our turn.” It’s true. Generations before us have done so much for us, the least we can do is preserve what they fought so hard for. In the years preceding the Civil War, our country was in shambles. Extremely brave men and women had to stand up and fight in order for our country not to be split apart. We should remember these brave men and women, and the places where they fought, because they’re the reason why our country is still the United States of America, and there isn’t another country called the Confederate States of America. Should we take away the places where these brave men and women fought so daringly in order to keep our country together as a whole?
Fighting. It’s a negative term, mostly used in cases where you talk about two people, or groups of people, whether they’re fighting with words, their hands and feet, or weapons. But in many people’s cases today, people are fighting to save things that they feel connected to, or that they love. Fighting to save Civil War battlefields is something many people, including myself, are doing. Not just because we like learning about the Civil War. But because it’s part of the history of the nation we love. The nation we grew up in, the nation we’re proud to call home. Do you want people to look upon our nation with some feeling of disgust because we replaced a valuable landmark with clothing stores? Or do you want people to look upon our nation and marvel because we know what’s truly important: reserving our past for generations to come?