A tourist was introduced to an Indian in New Mexico, who was said to have a perfect memory. Skeptically, the tourist asked, “What did you have for breakfast on September 10, 1943?”
The Indian answered, “Eggs.”
The man scoffed, “Everyone eats eggs for breakfast. He’s a phony.”
Thirteen years later, the traveler’s train stopped again in the small New Mexico town, and he saw the same Indian sitting on the train platform. The tourist went up to him and said jovially, “How!”
The Indian answered, “Scrambled.”
Now that’s a good memory! Speaking of memory, someone once said, “History is to the nations what memory is to the individual”.
American historian, William Federer, compared a person suffering from Alzheimers, who no longer remembers who he or she is, to a nation that forgets their history. Like the individual, a nation can forget who they are, how they acquired various freedoms, and be more susceptible to having those freedoms taken away
He also noted there are certain tactics that have been used throughout history, one of them being “deconstruction”. It’s actually a sales technique in which people are fed negative information about people in history, and then become critical of their present. Federer said, “When people don’t remember where they came from, they become open minded to being repulsed by their forefathers.”
Sound crazy? Well, let’s look at Colin Koepernick who criticized the design on the heel of a Nike shoe. He claimed the symbol of a flag with 13 white stars in a circle was offensive and symbolic of a slave society. Because of Koepernick’s substantial influence, Nike yanked the symbol.
However history tells us Betsy Ross, who designed the flag, was a Quaker seamstress, an abolitionist and against slavery. In fact the Quakers were the first and strongest opponents of slavery and started the first abolitionist society in America.
Now, doesn’t that sound like deconstruction tactics, when an influential young man, completely ignorant of a symbol’s historical significance, labels the symbol as offensive?
Another example took place in a senior home in a small American town. The board of directors of the senior center decided to remove the lunch time recitation of the pledge of allegiance, saying, “We discovered that many of the incoming seniors were uncomfortable when the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. We feel we cannot let habits of the past be the enemy of the future.”
They even had a sherriff’s deputy escort a veteran out of the building after he brought a flag on to the premises and recited the pledge. One must ask when the pledge of allegiance became an enemy of the future instead of promoting patriotism? A law firm ended up intervening and advising seniors of their constitutional rights.
And most recently, in Canada, Quebec removed the crucifix from the legislature. Father Raymond de Sousa said that Quebec will go so far as to “strip itself of its own history and identity. It was just a few years ago that all Quebec leaders were affirming how necessary it was to keep the crucifix.”
“Apparently it will head to another room, as part of a museum. Perhaps it could be stored beside other relics of Quebec’s past, like religious liberty and a parliamentary tradition of moderation.” he concluded.
He has a point; we don’t want to be a nation that conducts itself as though it suffers from Alzheimers. We need to remember who we are, where we came from, and how we came to have the freedoms we value.
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