Essay Contest 2011 Third Place, Junior Entry

Kellan Doberstein, 7th Grade

Teacher: Mary Reeck
School: Aquinas Middle School, La Crosse, WI

Preserving 150 Years of History: Secession and the War’s Beginnings

One hundred and fifty years ago our nation was struggling.  One hundred and fifty years ago, we were a nation divided into strictly two parts; the North and the South.  We have come a long way since then.  But that history is slowly being forgotten.  It is being replaced by all the newest things in our modern life malls and other developments.  We must not forget what happened long ago.  Civil War battlefields are slowly being destroyed by shopping malls and new roads.  President Abraham Lincoln once said in his Gettysburg Address “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”  I think everyone should stop and think once and a while about these words one of our greatest Presidents once spoke.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1, 1863.  One of the most important battles of the American Civil War was at its beginning.  Many men for both sides died fighting for what they believed in.  As Lincoln said, we should remember these men, and to help us do that we must know where and how the fighting took place.  The Civil War battlefields are a major part of knowing and understanding more about the historic battles that took place 150 years ago.  It is not just Gettysburg; it is all the battlefields including Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Vicksburg, Petersburg and many more.  These are just a few that are very important to our American history.  We cannot continue to let people ruin these very historic battlefields.  If they have survived for 150 years, they can survive for another 150 years.  We must preserve and protect, or before we know it, all of the evidence of how this great country we call America, came about, will be gone.

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