Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

March 7, 2013

We have not learned the lessons of our history

In January, my husband and I went to Gettysburg for the weekend. We usually travel there several times a year, but due to work and family obligations and some health problems, we had not been there since 2010.

We felt a need to visit that sacred battlefield and to reflect on the terrible loss of life, misery, and utter devastation that enveloped that peaceful little town in July of 1863.

My ancestors fought valiantly there, most notably at Little Round Top and also at the aptly named, Devil’s Den. Nearly 150 years after that horrific three-day battle, one is still able to sense the vast continuum of emotions that flowed, along with the blood of those that fought and died there.

We spent 2 ½ hours at the Gettysburg Visitors’ Center. It takes the visitors on a self-guided tour from the initial discontent of Southerners, to the first shots fired at Fort Sumter, to the secession of the southern states, and to every battle of the war, both great and obscure.

The center has interesting displays and artifacts, including newspaper reports of the war, including editorial opinions of the Gettysburg Address given by President Lincoln when he dedicated the National Cemetery to honor those who died in that bloody three-day campaign.

It was those editorials that led me to ponder the difference between media coverage in 1863 and 2013. Sadly, I realized little has changed. The major newspapers in 1863 ridiculed Lincoln’s address as “childlike,” “not well-thought out,” and “too short and elementary in nature.”

In my opinion, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is one of the greatest literary achievements any mortal man has ever penned. Lincoln, much like Jesus Christ, in whom he trusted and sought divine guidance from, was a man “acquainted with sorrows.”

Lincoln had experienced a great deal of loss, including his beloved mother and his son. It is well known that Lincoln often wrote to grieving mothers, from both the North and South, to express his sorrow and to offer some solace in their grief.

I left Gettysburg with a sense of despair about how little we have learned from our history as a nation. We have truly become a “house divided against itself”

I fear that our house will be unable to stand much longer. Every citizen of this nation has played a role, no matter how minute, in the destruction of our basic liberties.

Our Constitution is being shredded, the Second Amendment deemed irrelevant, we stopped holding people, including elected officials, responsible for their actions.

We support a poor or non-existent desire to earn a living in favor of a welfare mentality. Our children aren’t being encouraged to achieve, to know right from wrong, or to respect others.

We have not spoken for the poor, the orphaned, the wounded, and the downcast among us. Worse yet, we have stopped caring about the suffering of our brothers and sisters in other nations.

We have turned a blind eye to Darfur, Syria, and Israel, our only ally in the middle-east. God clearly forewarned of the wrath to those that curse Israel.

Recently, meteors, undetected by NASA, slammed into Russia. Remember, Russia has allied itself with Iran. Its president continually threatens to “wipe Israel off of the map”.

Coincidental? Atheists will say so. However, it takes more faith to believe that we began as an amoeba and “evolved” into humans. I believe in God. I pray that in His wrath, He remembers mercy.

Renae D. Bloss

Cumberland

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