Historical landmarks should be preserved

As a history major, I appreciate the pieces of history that are still preserved in the modern day. It is truly fascinating looking at sources from past eras and imaging all the things that happened with this certain document, image, statue and so on.

One thing I do fully support is the preservation of historical landmarks because history should be remembered and not deleted from existence. Recently construction workers were accused of drilling a hole through an approximately 6,000-year-old monument Stonehenge in the United Kingdom.

Archeologists said this caused irreparable damage to the ancient structure. Highways England, a government owned company, denied any wrongdoing and claims no damage was caused.

These are all claims now so there is no solid proof that Stonehenge was irreparably damaged, but if this did occur, this is an outrageous act of vandalism and ignorance and punishment should be brought to the people involved.

According to History Channel, Stonehenge was created 5,000 or more years ago and it was built in several stages. Neolithic Britons used primitive tools to dig the holes for the stone pillars in a circle. Many modern-day historians and archeologists believe that Stonehenge was built by multiple Neolithic tribes and took many years to complete.

The purpose for the structure is surrounded in mystery. Historians agree the structure was of great importance, but other then that there are several theories. Most professionals say the place could have been a burial site, a place of religious worship, a memorial monument set up to contact or honor past relatives, and so on.

Stonehenge is fascinating because it is such an old monument and there is so much mystery surrounding it. This is an ancient landmark just like The Great Pyramid of Giza and The Colosseum in Rome. These structures must be left alone to preserve our roots and remember the great history we have across the world.

Stepping away from Stonehenge, The Islamic State (ISIS) has had a history of destroying great monuments in the middle east, specifically in Syria. According to National Geographic, ISIS destroyed the Temple of Baalshamin, one of the best-preserved ruins at the Syrian Site of Palmrya.

These destructions of historical landmarks are a part of a propaganda campaign by ISIS. Columbia University Historian Christopher Jones commented on the issue and said, “It’s both propagandistic and sincere,” Jones said. “They see themselves as recapitulating the early history of Islam.”

ISIS is an international terrorist organization that has murdered a number of people in recent years, so the destruction of historical monuments are not on top of the list of crimes they have committed. However, this destruction of history is still unacceptable no matter who the perpetrators are.

We will slowly loose our history if landmarks like the ones I mentioned above keep getting damaged and destroyed. I have not visited structures such as Stonehenge or The Great Pyramid of Giza, but I have witnessed pieces of history in person and it is truly surreal.

I have seen The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta in Washington D.C and I have visited Arlington Cemetery in Virginia. I will always remember these experiences because it is amazing witnessing an important piece of history right before your eyes.

If there is a piece of history in your area, fight to preserve it or establish it as a historical landmark. Legally historical landmarks can not be destroyed or damaged and this would help preserve your history for future generations to appreciate.

Jordan Boyer is a senior history major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at jtboyer@eiu.edu.

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