Every so often, we are treated to an opinion, op-ed or commentary that is educational in its content and lends perspective to events that have relevance to what we are witness to nearly every day. I attribute this to Mr. Aaron Tolson with regard to his comments that appeared on Sept. 8 relative to the fall of the Roman Empire and the ingredients that led to its demise. All of the elements that led to the collapse have relevance to much of what is taking place today in one form or another and at one level of another.
The founders of this great nation were pretty well up on world history and tried to incorporate that knowledge in designing a system that would not be subject to relegation to the trash heap of history. They emphasized the importance of an educated electorate guided by a set of principles and morality that would sustain this system. That, roughly in the words of at least one of them would not be sustainable with any system lacking these moral foundations and mores.
A foundational knowledge of the nation’s history is essential if we are to have a guiding compass for the future or for where we are headed. The whole structure of our system is under challenge today by those who essentially detest this country and what it stands for as the “last great hope for freedom on earth.” Some of it has approaches the level of treason. To go a little further, in the simple words of Abraham Lincoln, “America will never be destroyed from the outside; if we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” There is an active and coordinated effort to facilitate this.
Old Abe, who, at 6 feet 4 inches, and somewhat incongruous, could wield a mean ax in his younger years on the old frontier but had a quest for knowledge. In contrast, as I gather from up the trail, Daniel Boone was 5 feet 8 inches on stature, give or take a few centimeters. Pretty hefty for that age and also a good hand with an ax while opening up the old Cumberland trail with 40 ax men.
Life was physical, often fraught with danger and, in general, short. Old Daniel lived to the respectable age of 86 in Illinois, still nurturing visions of “westering.” It takes you out of yourself to reflect back on those times and what it took to bring us to where we are as a great nation. The challenges are of a different nature today, often more subtle and alien to our nature.
This is why every young person should acquire a basic knowledge of our history. It’s in the land, the sky and the wind.