Essay Contest 2012 Second Place, Junior Entry

Kristin Spencer, 7th Grade

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

Preserving 150 Years of History: 1861-1862, The War Commences

About 150 years ago our nation was struggling, divided, and beginning to fight itself. This was the beginning of a long, hard struggle that our nation would have to endure. Our ancestors fought great battles all over the country. 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.”

Our nation's historic landmarks, like The Battle of Shiloh are being, or will be if we don't do something about it, covered up by malls and big chain stores. These historic landmarks will soon be gone if we don't do something about it. Many of our nation's battle sites are already covered up. The Civil War shaped our nation into what it is today. Our ancestors died fighting for what they believed in. Like Lincoln said, we should remember these men and what they died for.

When you walk on a Civil War battlefield or any battlefield, you don't want to see the outline of a casino in the distance. You want to see how the battlefield really was 150 years ago when our ancestors fought on it. You want to see what they saw and walk the ground they walked on. You don't want to hear cars going past or construction noises nearby.

The Civil War was one of the big contributors to our nation and the way it is now. We don't want to cover that up or deny what happened in the 1860's. We want to learn about the Civil War and imagine what it was like. To do this we need the battle sites here for us to look at. We cannot continue to let people ruin these historic sites. We need to preserve them and protect them so they will be here for generations to come.

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