April 05, 2020

History is history

Two conflicting articles continue to puzzle me. One was an editorial (BDN, Sept. 19) about changing the names of some landmarks in Maine because their Native American names may be offensive to some; the second was an article beginning on Page One about the historical value of names given by Native Americans to different areas of Maine, and the attempts to preserve not only the names, but also the language.

As the weekend section “Naming Places” pointed out, these names had very significant meaning to the people who gave them. History is history, and who are we to think we have the right to change it just because we don’t like it? If we follow the current trend of modernizing everything, “history” becomes “present” and the heritage of our forebears is rendered insignificant.

It is an unrealistic goal to think one can please all of the people all of the time. What is the point of allowing our government to bow to a few people and legislate away what other people are trying so hard to preserve, sometimes with the help of government grants?

Venora Cote


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