American Culture

July 10, 2016

BW photograph of the unknown soldiers grave markers in Gettyburg Battlefield Cemetary.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Terry Tempest Williams has recently published The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks, which is a series of essays regarding her experiences with several of the United States National Parks.  Her writing about Gettysburg National Military Park is quite poignant (as are they all), and well worth a read.  Part of the essay includes reflections on, and differing viewpoints about, the Civil War, for which Gettysburg proved to be a pivotal battle.  At one point, Ms. Williams includes this passage from Camus’ “Neither Victims Nor Executioners”:

“…throughout the coming years, an endless struggle is going to be pursued between violence and friendly persuasion,…henceforth, the only honorable course will be to stake everything on a formidable gamble:  that words are more powerful than munitions.”

Ms. Williams states that this was published in 1946, one year after the end of WWII.

BW photograph of an American flag wrapped around its pole.

Copyright 2016 Kevin p. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Given the shootings this past week in Baton Rouge, LA, St. Paul, MN,  and Dallas, TX, those words are just as applicable now.  We appear to be wrapped in a tightly bound conflict for which President Obama had some very profound words-please read at least the second paragraph here.   This truly is “…an American issue we should all care about.”  Interestingly, President Obama said those words while in Warsaw, Poland for the most recent NATO conference.  He has subsequently cut short his European trip to return to the U.S. in the aftermath of these killings.  It would be interesting to know the reactions and thoughts of the other NATO leaders with whom the President was speaking, as the central point of NATO is the U.S. standing with and protecting our European allies against aggression.

Right now, we are not doing such a good job of looking out for each other here.

Take care.

 

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