I don’t know about you but I always read Bob Katzen’s Beacon Hill Roll Call. I don’t know when I didn’t love politics and history. The two are intertwined together going back to the Pilgrims now 400 years ago.
As a full-time substitute teacher now, after being on the job as a police officer for 28 years, I believe our young people in school need to be taught civics in the classroom and also know a thing or two about our nation’s history. We would have many more voters showing up at the polls if we educated our children in school on the sacrifices given over the generations to get us to where we are right now. There is still room to make us better tomorrow, but we can only make that happen if we know what is in our past.
Today in public schools across America, students are asked to stand if they wish for the Pledge of Allegiance. ASKED TO STAND IF THEY WISH? Doing so is not indoctrination, it is understanding how lucky we all are living here. We should WANT to stand not as a meaningless gesture but as an affirmation of who we are and what we believe.
There is a lot of complaining today about our so-called jaded past. We are not members of a perfect nation. We do however continue to aspire for a nation with “liberty and justice for all.” Always our goal. We struggle hoping each succeeding generation moves us closer to bringing more life to those inspired words.
There is a lot of confusion about our country’s greatness. Many today have decided to just b*^#@ about all the things we haven’t accomplished because we never live up to the words in that Pledge, or in historical documents like the Declaration of Independence or in the Bill of Rights. America is in constant change. Hopefully, we will always be changing and growing to being the very best that we can be.
The America of 2022 is not the same as the America of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. History means learning from the past and moving beyond it but never forgetting it either – our journey to being better than what we were. We don’t have to be ashamed of anything in our past. We must learn from it as we progress onward into our future.
Getting back to the designation of July 8 as Massachusetts Emancipation Day has nothing to do with those who would cancel culture but would add to our history. Back in my boyhood school days there were lots of things we were never taught. However, those things we didn’t know still happened. My dad always told me you never stop learning. There’s always something we don’t know yet. I never heard of Quock Walker. I grew up during the Civil Rights era. I even met Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as a 16-year-old, but Quock Walker was no one to me. I should have known about this person who helped render slavery unconstitutional here in my state.
Our representatives up on Beacon Hill are moving H.3117 forward. Soon it will be voted on by the Senate and sent to the governor’s desk for a signature. Knowing more about how slavery was abolished in Massachusetts can only enrich all of us.
The more we know, the better we are as America’s history moves on with or without our participation.