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Lincoln Daily News
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Maintain historical aspects of monument

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To the editor:

I will no longer be able to be a part of the Civil War Statue Restoration Committee. I have attended the meetings and in the beginning was excited to watch this committee do what they initially came together to accomplish. During the first meeting, everyone was excited about doing the statue justice and returning this grand memorial back to its original beauty, as it was put there by our ancestors as a lasting memorial to those they lost in the Civil War.

I have also now watched as this committee lost sight of what it needed to do, and because of that, the integrity of the statue was no longer the issue. In its place was a group of people who were more intent on doing something they deemed better. I was not aware that this committee was formed to decide what was better, but instead to just restore our historical figure. Of course over time, things change and improve and there will always be a better way to do something, but this was not the place for it. This committee wasn't formed with that in mind. I agree changes might make a difference in the longevity of the statue, but the statue was not our memorial and the authority to change it was not given to this committee.

I am not only upset with the arrogance shown by this small group, but with the lack of historical accuracy that is being played out in a building (the Logan County Genealogical and Historical Society) whose main goal is to preserve history for the generations to come. I do not want to be a party to dishonoring so many people in such a callous way. It is uncalled for and unjust. The Civil War deceased were mourned and memorialized by a county, and that memorial should continue to stand proudly, reflecting not what a group in 2010 thinks would look better or last longer, but instead what a group of that time deemed appropriate.

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If this small group thinks their way of improving and changing is the right way, then maybe they need to dig a little deeper within themselves and think how this would be in another project. What if the Postville Courthouse was rebuilt in brick? How would we be preserving the history of Abraham Lincoln and his time in Logan County? Would that be fitting of way to preserve the history that is so important to us today? Would that entice people to want to visit and learn about it?

So you want to completely change a monument this way? I've heard people discuss how this statue is overlooked, and you will be promoting that to continue, because once you make this statue into what you think is bigger and better, its whole history will be lost and it will just be something new. Preserving the history and restoring the integrity would once again invite visitors to venture up close and reflect on a time period of pain and suffering that Logan County lived through. Isn't that what preservation and restoration is all about? Shouldn't you want to bring that history alive for them, instead of just replacing it with something new?

I hope that once this project is done, the remaining committee members can all sit back and know in their heart of hearts that they did the service this committee was formed for and that they are proud of how they preserved and restored the history and integrity of this grand statue for the many generations to come. As far as I can see, the outcome is not something that will be deemed restorative in the least, and history for this statue and that time will come to an end. It will be replaced with a brand-new statue whose only history lies within a small committee whose lines were divided over integrity, historical accuracy and preservation versus looking better, lasting longer and improving. Restoring and preserving history is and never will be about improving. Its only importance is to maintain the integrity of the past so that it can live on for the many generations to come.


Misty Bell

[Posted February 05, 2010]

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