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.