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Civil War Trust

Second Place, Senior Essay Contest 2009

Elizabeth Miller, 10th Grade

Teacher:  Lanette Schulte  
School:  S.A.L.T.: Wheelock, TX

“It’s Our Turn:  Fight to Save Civil War Battlefields”

A battlefield is worth remembering.  It reminds us of our past valor and cowardice.  We need to consider a battlefield’s hardships, bravery, and patriotism just as much as its mistakes and lack of self-control, for these things can apply to our present and future lives.

2009 Junior Essay Contest Winners

2009 Senior Essay Contest Winners

To stop a developer from ruining a Civil War battlefield, I would tell them that they are robbing future generations of that battlefield’s significance by turning it into a mall our housing development.  Some things are worth our honor and remembrance, for they are able to teach us.  George Santayana said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

The patriarchs of the Bible positioned large stones to remind them of a great deed or miracle accomplished.  Whenever travelers passed they would marvel at their story and perpetuate its memory.  Today we continue the tradition of standing stones by placing tombstones in cemeteries.  These monuments celebrate the life of a person that was buried there.  As we pass these stones we wonder who that person was and what their life story was.  When we pass a battlefield, we should be able to ask what happened here, for the lessons that can be learned from these endangered treasure can benefit a community.  We should fight to save them.

As we live our lives we need not repeat past mistakes, but rather be reminded of them and avoid them.  This will make us better as a family, community and nation, for it will improve our sense of moral consciousness.   Israel Zangwill said, “The past is for inspiration, not imitation, for continuation, not repetition.”  We need to preserve our history and learn from its trials and triumphs.


 

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