Read the Toronto Star editorial at Torstar EDITORIAL
Then consider how monuments are being vandalized and destroyed in many parts of Canada, all under the label of racism protest.
History should be preserved so we can know the story of our past, the foundations of our society. Those roots are not always pretty but they are deeply planted. They may not be positive memories or positive legacies of our past, but they are concrete artifacts of where we have been. They are legacies of who we were, what we did, and what kind of society we were at some point in the past.
These historical monuments do not always paint a pretty picture but then looking around at the history of other nations, societies, people, we see that almost every society has ugly blemishes in its past. Obliterating these blemishes destroys our stories. The society of today learns nothing about its past, a past which may be ugly and malodorous but it is real and it is fact.
Destroying the monuments only demonstrates that we are living in today, a moment in time that has these characteristics, ones that may also be eradicated in the future.
We need to save our monuments as examples from which we can learn, as examples of a past which we have left, as examples of a time when we lived lives that were less inclusive. History should be preserved as treasures not to be revered necessarily but as valuable lessons from which we can learn how to improve our society.
Sadly, the artifacts of our past, like memories, will all fade away. The good as well as the bad.