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There’s a lot of meaning packed into the three primary pictures and the cropped detail of “Old Simon” (officially, “Private Soldier Monument”) — and meaning for the greater world if it cares to adopt and defend the humanist best of western concepts and ideals that would win both restatement and setting forth as national purpose in the founding documents of the United States. The national narrative — from the ratifying of the Constitution through to the Civil War and about one-hundred years later our massive Civil Rights Movement and to this day’s extraordinary political and social evolution — has been wholly coherent and remarkably progressive and most human and good.

We keep old photographs for memories and reminders – and old cemeteries, memorials, and historic battlefields and parks for the same purpose.


Related on BackChannels

“Basic Training”.

Related Online

Library of Congress: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom”.

National Archives: The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, The Bill of Rights, The Emancipation Proclamation.

National Park Service: “Antietam National Cemetery”.


History, Posted to YouTube on June 29, 2016.


AP Archive, posted to YouTube July 21, 2015.

We’ve had such a good spell of peace here in the U.S. that we’re rather cavalier in our lifestyles and opinions. That is what freedom allows and does and is supposed to do (for everyone). However, we may take our condition as a developing and vibrant national culture for granted. It may be helpful — and especially online — to revisit now and then the basics and historical touchstones of the American political dream and the experience of it.


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