Rewriting History
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people (a tenth victim survived) in a South Carolina church. Due to his penchant to take selfies with the Confederate flag, there has been a fervent demand to remove all such flags from public view. YouTube
However, “A nation which fails to adequately remember salient points of its own history, is like a person with Alzheimer&apos;s. And that can be a social disease of a most destructive nature.” (S.M. Sigerson, <i>The Assassination of Michael Collins: What Happened At Béal na mBláth?</i>, 2013)
In fact, slavery, the Confederacy, and the American Civil War are all salient parts of the history of the United States. Explore Murky1's photos on Flickr. Murky1 has uploaded 1590 photos to Flickr.
In the Soviet Union, during Josef Stalin&apos;s reign, people gained and lost favor at an alarming rate. When they were removed (typically executed), their existence was erased, including their presence in photographs. In his turn, Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin, thereby destabilizing the political structure of the Soviet Union and indeed communism throughout the world.
Another tragic historical event that has a persistent group of naysayers is the Holocaust. Fortunately, there are far more people, organizations, museums, and artifacts that purposefully remind us of the atrocities of the Holocaust, in order to keep its memory alive.
What is less known, even among American citizens, is that simultaneous to the Holocaust, The United States interred more than 120,000 Japanese Americans, due to &quot;military necessity.&quot; YouTube
&quot;In the postwar years, these Japanese Americans had to rebuild their lives. The US citizens and long-time residents who had been incarcerated had lost their personal liberties, and many also lost their homes, businesses, property, and savings. Individuals born in Japan were not allowed to become naturalized US citizens until 1952.&quot; <b>When I studied this in high school in the 1970s, my parents were shocked, and denied the internment had taken place. </b> This image is believed to be in the public domain and is from the National Archives. More information may be found below. Search or Contact the National Archives. _______________________ All images from the National Archives posted on this site should be "unrestricted", according to NARA's information provided below. PLEASE DO NOT ATTRIBUTE IMAGE TO PINGNEWS. You may say "via" pingnews or found through pingnews. You may also thank the "pingnews photo service." Here, we are serving as A FREE PHOTO SERVICE and NOT THE ORIGINATOR/CREATOR of these images NOR the archival location. Any credit should attribute photographer (if known) and the National Archives. ________________________ Public Domain. Suggested credit: NARA via pingnews. Additional source and credit info from the National Archives: Creator: Department of the Interior. War Relocation Authority. (02/16/1944 - 06/30/1946) ( Most Recent) Type of Archival Materials: Photographs and other Graphic Materials Level of Description: Item from Record Group 210: Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1941 - 1947 Location: Still Picture Records LICON, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001 PHONE: 301-837-3530, FAX: 301-837-3621, EMAIL: Production Date: 05/08/1942 Part of: Series: Central Photographic File of the War Relocation Authority, 1942 - 1945 Scope & Content Note: The full caption for this photograph reads: Hayward, California. Two children of the Mochida family who, with their parents, are awaiting evacuation bus. The youngster on the right holds a sandwich given her by one of a group of women who were present from a local Church. The family unit is kept intact during evacuation and at War Relocation Authority centers where evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed for the duration. Access Restrictions: Unrestricted Use Restrictions: Unrestricted Variant Control Number(s): NAIL Control Number: NWDNS-210-G-C155 Local Identifier: NWDNS-210-G-C155 Copy 1 Copy Status: Preservation Storage Facility: National Archives at College Park - Archives II (College Park, MD) Media Media Type: Negative Index Terms Contributors to Authorship and/or Production of the Archival Materials Lange, Dorothea, Photographer
George Orwell imagined a society where history was systematically rewritten. &quot;He was alone. <i><b>The past was dead,</b></i> the future was unimaginable. What certainty had he that a single human creature now living was on his side? And what way of knowing that the dominion of the Party would not endure forever?&quot; (<i>1984</i>, Chapter 1.2, emphasis added) New trailer for 1984(1984) starring John Hurt. Edited by Lectorsmith.
Ray Bradbury leaves us with a more hopeful picture in <i>Fahrenheit 451</i>. Success is dependent, however, on <b>remembering</b>.
The cold-blooded murder carried out by Dylann Roof on June 17, 2015 is a tragedy. We cannot, however, think that by eradicating symbols of negative events in our history we are going to rid ourselves of the ghosts of slavery, white supremacy, and racial hatred. Our only hope to fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence: &quot;<i>WE hold these Truths to be self evident that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness</i>&quot; is by closely and honestly examining our history, and by learning from our past mistakes.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana, <i>The Life of Reason</i>, 1905)
When we disguise or alter events in society&apos;s consciousness, we all lose. For example, how many of us know the true and whole story of the Statue of Liberty? TOUCH this image to discover its story. Image tagging powered by ThingLink
It starts with Edouard de Laboulaye, a French abolitionist and expert on the U.S. Constitution. He proposed building the statue as a monument to America&apos;s abolition of slavery. The initial design of Lady Liberty had her holding chains and shackles in her left hand. However, the American financiers of Lady Liberty&apos;s pedestal (the U.S. financial contribution to the monument) balked.
Therefore, she has no evidence in her hands, but broken shackles and chains are still found at her feet. Unfortunately, few of us ever view her from a perspective where we can see these. Even more tragically, the fact that she was meant to symbolize the abolition of slavery in the United States was buried for more than a century. Wounds that could have started healing at that time continued to fester because as a society we did not understand Lady Liberty&apos;s significance.

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