Third Place, Senior Essay Contest 2009
Shier Morillo, 11th Grade
Teacher: Randy Hilyer
School: Johnson Island Charter School, Charleston, SC
"It’s Our Turn: Fight to Save Civil War Battlefields"
No matter who you are, history plays a large role in your life. Whether this history is from personal experiences, or larger scale events, it still influences who you are. As Americans, especially southerners, the Civil War is an event that influences us every day. The outcome of the war affects the way we live.
Living in Charleston, South Carolina, I am surrounded by historic places that are intimately connected with the Civil War. Being in such close proximity to so much history and to these historic areas is a constant reminder of the war and what it stands for; freedom for all Americans. I feel t hat if these historic sites were destroyed, we would be losing a part of our country’s history. As citizens of the United States it is important to know our country’s history. Knowing history is vital because it prevents history from repeating itself. Without these historic reminders, future generations will be oblivious to many aspects of the war that can be felt from these historic sites.
Preservation of these battlefields is also important because it pays homage to the near 700,000 American soldiers who lost their lives. Destroying these sites and putting up a development such as a strip mall shows what our country values. Would Americans prefer to be seen as those who respect the history of their country, or simply as consumer driven individuals?
Saving the Civil War battlefields will benefit not only the communities where they sites are, but also the country as a whole, and everyone who has the opportunity to visit one of these historic sites. The Civil War helped determine morals upon which our country is built. By preserving these4 battlefields we are also preserving the fundamental beliefs of our country.
Source: Davis, Burke. The Price in Blood: Casualties in the Civil War. 1 Nov. 2004 <http://www.civilwarhome.com/casualties.htm>