With the recent events facing our nation, American Revolutionary War monuments and memorials have an important role in demonstrating pride in our shared past and the highest ideals we value. Statues and monuments to the leaders and participants of the struggle for American independence today stand on battlefields, in courthouse squares and on historic sites all across this nation. While these statues depict very flawed and imperfect human beings, they memorialize the deeds and character that contributed to the creation of the nation we now live in.
These statues and monuments not only tell an important part of the nation’s founding, they are also artifacts of the eras in which they were constructed and how we have remembered our Revolutionary struggle, and how the ideals of the Revolution continue to live to this very day. Part of what we do at Emerging Revolutionary War is connect the past to the places today. Over the past few weeks we have seen localities remove or plan to remove statues honoring Caesar Rodney in Delaware and Philip Schuyler in New York. We have also seen statues of Marquis de Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, and Thaddeus Kosciusko vandalized in Washington, DC, a statue of George Washington vandalized in Boston, statues vandalized in Philadelphia of Washington and Benjamin Franklin, and the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War in Philadelphia desecrated.
We feel it is important that all of the United States’ Revolutionary War statues and monuments are protected so they can continue to demonstrate our highest values and ideals and the tell the story of the important figures who shaped our nation. Without these monuments, we lose vital resources to tell the important stories of our past and help unite us in moving forward as a country. As the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution draws near, rather than the removal of monuments, we hope more monuments and memorials will be erected, especially for overlooked populations that also played a role in the founding of our nation. With this more comprehensive view of history in mind, a broader and more accurate story can be told to the American public. Emerging Revolutionary War will continue to trace the stories of the past and tie them to the places through these challenging times and we look forward to a better tomorrow.