Recently there was a very informative editorial printed in The Frederick News-Post (“McCardell deserving of recognition,” Aug. 16) about “who gets to be a statue in Frederick.”

We erect statues to perpetuate our memories. After a person’s death, we often honor their accomplishments with statues and monuments, to honor shared values, merit to the community, common values and inspiration.

That is why monuments and statues are erected — whereas statues that come down are because we no longer share past values and beliefs. Their accomplishments are no longer as worthy, less inspiring.

That’s why Roger Brooke Taney’s statue has been removed from the old courthouse mall to a post in Mount Olivet Cemetery, whereas Key’s statue stays highlighted.

Francis Scott Key’s standout accomplishment was his “Star-Spangled Banner” poem. In spite of the danger and differences we stood together as a nation to fight off the invader, a shared value today. Whereas Taney was memorialized for his position on extending slavery in perpetuity. We still share Key’s poem as a key element of being America but not Taney’s ruling.

I hear arguments and fears, about rewrites of history by tearing down statues. I have to admit, I have fears too.

But my concern is how monuments represent our current society’s values, not as much as in the past, our values today. My fear is people want to alter our history by rewriting the words on statues, like the Statue of Liberty. Have we reached a point where we are no longer the land of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Are we no longer “the shining city upon the hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.” Are we no longer the country of differing backgrounds coming together to create a greater society? Do we no longer share these values?

Just askin’. Only wondering if the Statue of Liberty is still a shared value.

Alfred Walters


(29) comments



Key was a part of the pre-Civil War group attempting to send African-American slaves to Liberia. His motive were somewhat humanitarian, but he had said of African-Americans, “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.”


It was a common believe at the time. It was against the law to educate and teach blacks how to read. Some did anyway and disproved the belief. In fact, on many southern plantations the best blacks were made managers. Obviously, not all believed blacks were inferior.

Obadiah Plainsmen

"Liberty" was a controversial idea in the 19th century. To many people it suggested violence and revolution. Laboulaye and Bartholdi agreed that their monument should not be seen as leading an uprising, but rather as lighting the way, peacefully and lawfully.

"Peacefully and Lawfully"..If those were the ideals of the designers then we should remove the Statue. Because" lawfully" has left the arena.


Not to be argumentative but Jesus was peaceful but unlawful.

He was found guilty for braking the law of blasphemy, refusing to claim he wasn’t the son of God. Unlawful and so crucified. I would be greatly opposed to removing his remnants. But fortunately there are plenty of monuments celebrating him and still being erected, some even still remember his words, inspiring mankind and yes, many of use still try to live up to his teachings.

For 150 years, The Statue of Liberty was a symbol of mortal man’s aspirations to live up to his message.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Then we should replace Liberty with a statue of Jesus, with the inscription of Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. You agree?


That is very interesting question, and I see your point. Many immigrants coming from the south are devout catholics and would welcome such a shrine. But based on my understanding of the Bible, along with other issues, and knowing those phrases are very similar but very different.

Jesus was addressing ones everlasting, one soul, eternal life through the the divinity of Jesus Christ. Where as the Statue of Liberty is addressing humanity, ones human domain, life on earth, a chance to prosper in this life. As you know, man can only govern his own soul not others and God asks you to give your soul to him. He values that more then material things.

I would be uncomfortable with a National Statue claiming divinity . But Brazil has one.

Checkout, Matthew 22:21, Mark 12:17,Mark 8:36.


Agreed, yes, but in the case of Jesus he meant the hereafter - not the present.

Obadiah Plainsmen

The emperor at the time of Jesus's birth, Caesar Augustus, kept count of the population throughout his empire for taxation purposes. A census was taken every ten years or so. Jesus was telling us while in this life you to follow the law of land in which you live. So a person who is following Jesus and wanted to come into this county the first thing they should do is is get documented and be counted properly. But as you well know man is inherently evil and does not want to follow Jesus. But there is good news. In speaking in terms of eternity our time here is about a planck length. And won't it be beautiful when all who ask and has received gets to spend eternity in Jesus's Kingdom.


Total depravity - “man is inherently evil and does not want to follow Jesus”? Many Christian scholars disagree with this theory, pointing to Genesis 1:27. Also, many scholars don’t see the Cesar story as meaning what you think it does. But it’s fair for you to base your views based on your understandings. Just know we all don’t share the same religious views. But I do believe we all share in wanting to be proud of our country.

Obadiah Plainsmen

One final thought. A frenchman once said that France is a country with 2 religions and 300 cheeses, America is a country with 300 religions and 2 cheeses. The separation of Church & State is a cornerstone of our Republic. And the topic of this LTE was about statues/monuments.I did not mention or even remotely hinted about religion in my original post. Why did you feel the need to reply by bringing religion/ Jesus into the conversation?


Your handle is ‘Obadiah’ which implies protecting your faith is the guiding core value. So appealing to those values, the Statue of Liberty, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore”, fall in-line with your faith, not the Wall, “keep out”.

Obadiah Plainsmen

And what was my reply? I’ll paste it “Then we should replace Liberty with a statue of Jesus”. But the 1st A forbids the government from establishing a state religion. So the next best thing is a wall with point of entry offices. Inscribe along the entire length of the wall would be “"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” accompanied by an arrow pointing the person in the direction to the closest point of entry. The length of the southern border is approx 2,000 miles, so one p.o.e every 200 miles or less if applicable. Why does a wall have to say "keep out" that's an negative attitude.


There is a statue being built at the southern border. A “Wall”.

The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States following the Civil War by the French people.

In 1865, Edouard de Laboulaye(a French political thinker, U.S. Constitution expert, and abolitionist) proposed that a monument be built as a gift from France to the United States in order to commemorate the perseverance of freedom and democracy in the United States and to honor the work of the late president Abraham Lincoln.

Laboulaye hoped that by calling attention to the recent achievements of the United States, the French people and others around the world would be inspired to create their own democracy in the face of repressive governments.

Designed by like minds, French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The poet Emma Lazarus was commission to write a poem related to the statue to raise money for the base. We all know the words from the poem that the give the statue its meaning.

The Statue and words inspired people around the world.

Unfortunately today we build a wall to send a different message. Not to inspire but discourage.

I guess that’s why Mexico won’t give it as a gift.


I think we have always been divided on immigration policy, with many wanting to take in the huddled masses and many others quick to scapegoat them for all our problems, even if our ancestors were once among the huddled masses. We are repeating history.


Ironic that the people who were the tired, hungry and poor are now part of the Euro-American "White Nationalist" that are reviled. People speak of "woman suffrage" but how many are familiar with "male suffrage." History is a curious subject.


Oddly, I am a Euro-American and do not feel reviled at all. Of course I am not a white nationalist.




Good one Shift![thumbup]


The vast, vast, vast majority of the descendants of the tired, hungry and poor are not White Supremacists. And many White Supremacists seem to come from rural and poor White backgrounds.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Why don't we just move the Statue of Liberty( or have the French make a replica) and Ellis Island to the southern border and make a single entry point.

"How far would you travel to find a better life? What if the journey took weeks under difficult conditions? If you answered "Whatever it takes," you echo the feelings of the 12 million immigrants who passed through these now quiet halls from 1892 to 1954. Ellis Island afforded them the opportunity to attain the American dream for themselves and their descendants".


You can go back farther than that. There was mass imigration of the Irish in the late 1840's. And there's a very high percentage of Germans too - for different reasons. Nor should you forget the Puritans.


Excellent letter expressing with clarity and eloquence a concern of many.


"We still share Key’s poem as a key element of being America but not Taney’s ruling." Some of the verses have startling elements people don't agree with but we can avoid singing. Americans who can't recognize the statue of liberty as a symbol of their own history are an embarrassment.


Most people think it is a song about fireworks, football, and Iwo Jima. Merca.


Really? What survey suggests that most people think the Star Spangled Banner is about fireworks? The ones who failed US History in school, or is it no longer taught?


There was a poll done in November of 2016.


… and 50 state polls done before that.


I searched but didn't find any polls. Do you have a link? It true, it just shows our education system may be failing us.

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