Just some thoughts:
IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING HISTORY
Yesterday was November 22. Fifty-six years ago on that date an American president, John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Yesterday morning I sat with three people and I ask them how old they were when the assassination happened. One was two years old the other two were four years old when this happen. What they would know about that event in history would basically come from what they were told or taught.
I fear today that our schools are not teaching history as once taught. In some cases almost not teaching it at all. Not too long ago I ask four college kids could they identify these. Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, George Marshall and Normandy. Eisenhower and Truman they got. Not one got Marshall and one got Normandy.
Case in point. George Marshall was the Chief of Staff of the Army in WW II. After the war he was the master mind for President Truman in what was called the Marshall Plan. That plan saw the United States and the Allies in the rebuilding of Germany. The very country that the Allies had been at war with to destroy along with their leader, Hitler. For nearly one year almost every two minutes American and Allied planes dropped food, needed supplies to the people of Germany.
If one knows about the Marshall Plan they can become aware of a country’s attitude toward freedom and how they deal with a previous enemy. This past year I stood a block from the Berlin Wall and had a native of that city share with me what the Marshall Plan meant to him and his family. He had lived under Russian law after the war. He said to me: “It was clear to us folks who lived here the difference in communism and democracy, one won, then sent help and another chose to stay and take over.”
The significance here was one of the keys to understanding world happenings even today. After WW II you had the United States and England turning around and giving aid to rebuild what had been their enemy. On the other hand you had a country, Russia who did just the opposite, it chose to occupy and take over the land and people they had just defeated.
If one studies history they can see the difference in democracy and communism, socialism. (Yes there is a difference but seems where one shows up the other is also present.) One chose to rebuild, another to conquer, control and occupy, Same with Japan. The United States under Douglas MacArthur set up programs to rebuild Japan. Today both Germany and Japan live under their own choice of governments.
Winston Churchill once said: “The future is unknowable, but the past should give us hope.” If there is going to be hope for the future then there must be knowledge and understanding of the past.
But if the history of that time is not taught then people who did not live or experience this have no idea of the past. They can be told or taught just about anything one wants them to know. There are people today who even want to say the Holocaust did not happen.
History is one of the most valuable things a people need to know. From their own personal history to their country’s.
November 23, 2019