Local issue, but …

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here, then, is a particularly local issue, but one that resonates outside the boundaries of Lyndeborough, where the issue is front and center. The town is forming a committee to decide where to place Lyndeborough’s two war memorials. They used to be at the library, but were moved to accommodate construction of the library addition.

So, where should they go?

It’s kind of a small thing, given earthquake destruction in Haiti, for instance, but it’s an example of how a community can take responsibility for, and authority over, the things it can accomplish.

And discussion about the memorials could also serve to remind all of us – not just Lyndeborough residents – of the sacrifices people made to allow us to make these small decisions.

Sure, we remember, more or less, on Veterans Day and Memorial Day and maybe even on the Fourth of July once we’ve sated our barbecue appetites, but generally, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about people who, by dying for their nation, got their names on a war memorial.

But, here’s a chance to do exactly that. You see, the willingness to take time to think about where to place these monuments says something good about us. It says we care enough not to consign them to the scrap heap of history. They’re too important for that.

By making the decision that the placement of these monuments is important, we say that the people whose names are engraved on them are still important, too.

Scott Roper, a local historian, has volunteered to be chairman of whatever committee is named. He’s a good choice. Anyone who studies history understands how easy it is to forget those who helped to make history but did so in relative anonymity.

We know who George Washington was, and Abraham Lincoln, and Dwight Eisenhower, but few people could give you a single name from the Lyndeborough monuments or from the monuments in Wilton or Milford or Amherst.

But those whose names are on those monuments fought and died for us.

By taking the time to determine the proper spot for its monuments, Lyndeborough is paying homage to those people. Good for Lyndeborough.

Just a question

So, you think Osama bin Laden and his ilk will be sending humanitarian aid to Haiti? Perhaps Saudi Arabia will. Or Iran.

Or, will they, as usual, leave it up to The Great Satan to help those who can’t help themselves?

Oh, c’mon, you know the answer.

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