Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2020

Wickie's Wisdom

History Under Attack

By Timothy Harrison


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This past October 11 in Portland, Oregon rioters attacked and attempted to burn down the building that is home to the Oregon Historical Society. Kerry Tymchuk, the executive director of the Society, said, “We were lucky; the whole place could have gone up in flames.”

That same night, also in Portland, Oregon, rioters toppled statues of Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. In other areas of the nation, similar statues have been toppled or vandalized, such as those of Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Francis Scott Key, who wrote the words to the National Anthem, which itself is under attack. Additionally, many other monuments have been vandalized, including the World War II Memorial and Fountain in Washington, D.C., the Alamo Cenotaph in Texas, the Serve and Protect Monument in Salt Lake City, the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, and a number of 9/11 memorials, just to mention a few.

Many wonder how long it will be before more museums, historical sites and monuments will be attacked. And now there are even some prominent people calling for the dismantling in Washington, D.C. of the Benjamin Franklin Statue, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Monument.

To make matters worse, it is estimated that the COVID-19 Pandemic will force the permanent closure of up to 25 percent of our nation’s museums. In fact, some have already closed. Forever.

There are those who have ridiculed our leadership in placing memorial markers at the gravesites of our nation’s lighthouse keepers. Also, I have personally been told that no one really cares about the fact that Maine’s Little River Lighthouse was relighted as a Beacon of Freedom to the World and that the flag displayed there after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 is meaningless. And, younger people, many who apparently couldn’t care less about history, are not replacing the older subscribers of Lighthouse Digest, who are dying off.

Additionally, many places where Lighthouse Digest is distributed, such as waiting rooms, libraries, and others locations are no longer allowed to have magazines on display or have closed their doors because of the pandemic. Many of our advertisers have closed their doors, either temporarily or permanently.

So, as can clearly be seen, history is under attack from many different directions and lighthouse history is at the bottom of the heap. This impacts us greatly since we have yet to uncover or rediscover much of our nation’s lighthouse history so that it can be recorded, published and saved for future generations, before it is literally too late to do so.

But there is still hope. Because, there is always hope. You can help by making a year-end tax-deductible and urgently needed donation to:

The Lighthouse History Research Institute,

P.O. Box 250

East Machias, ME 04630


You CAN make a difference in helping to save lighthouse history.

With sincere thanks, and best wishes for a better 2021,

Timothy Harrison

Editor & Publisher

Lighthouse Digest

This story appeared in the Nov/Dec 2020 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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