As I was reading Chronicles in my Bible this morning, I kept thinking how hard it could be to read. It is name after name after name! I have read it before and was asking myself why? Why did I return to it again?
And then it hit me. I read it again because it isn’t just name after name, it is a memorial. A commemoration of a nation that had basically disappeared. The twelve tribes of Israel, that God purposely chose as His people, were gone. Some were assimilated and scattered all over. Some simply didn’t survive. The reason was relatively simple. Despite all of God’s warnings, they chose to allow sin to prevail. Some were assimilated and scattered all over. Some simply didn’t survive. The reason was relatively simple. Despite all of God’s warnings, they allowed sin to prevail. The only way they would be remembered now is through some sort of memorial, in this case, a commemoration of names passed on through the ages and finally recorded in the Holy Bible.
There are memorials scattered throughout history. Many times, in the Bible, it might be an alter or even a pile of stones. These were reminders to others not to forget an event. They were a milestone. Throughout history they served as a reminder of an accomplishment but sometimes, something that isn’t so good, that needs to be remembered as a lesson to not repeat the same mistakes.
Disclaimer: My opinion.
Fast forward to our current times. We are seeing pieces of our history removed, one by one. Many of these may remind us of a troubled past. Times that we aren’t proud of. That being said, if these reminders are removed, how will our children and their children be reminded to teach their children of what should never happen again. These are lessons learned and history that needs to be passed on to future generations.
I’m going to pass on some examples. You don’t hear too much about them in school and you see only an occasional reminder of these monumental, historical events.
As early as the 16th century, racism was alive and well and directed against the Native Americans who had lived in North America for centuries already. In the end, they were killed or moved to reservations out of the white man’s way. There are few memorials or unbiased history lessons about what took place. Remember the Trail of Tears?
Another horrific time was the Holocaust. There are existing memorials and museums, but for how long. You see very little about it in history classes, yet it had a tremendous effect on history, including in the United States
“The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the World War II genocide of the European Jews. Between 1941 and 1945, across German-occupied Europe, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population.” Wikipedia
A significant, tumultuous time in U.S. history was the war with Vietnam. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., lists more than 58,300 names of members of the U.S. armed forces who were killed or went missing in action. I don’t recall my children studying this in history. Many of the next generation don’t even know about it.
“The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from November 1st, 1955 to the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.” Wikipedia
China had become communist in 1949 and communists were in control of North Vietnam. The USA was afraid that communism would spread to South Vietnam and then the rest of Asia. It decided to send money, supplies and military advisers to help the South Vietnamese Government.
Today, our memorials are being destroyed. My question is, as these next generations become adults, will they understand? Those memorials stand as a reminder of victories, loss, humiliation and a lot of wrongdoing. How can it be good to erase that history? Stamp it in your memories so that we never forget and never repeat those same mistakes!
Let us never forget that only as a united nation, Under God, will we survive. Through division we will be scattered, killed and forgotten.