OPINION: A Monumental Site Of Unity
During these challenging times, America needs to find new ways to preserve and protect equal justice under the law. People wanted positive change, unity, tangible results, and solid leadership from their elected officials.
What did Americans get over the last several weeks instead? Thugs and anarchists tearing down statues and defacing works of art. Many were Confederate statues and memorials. But others depicted great American heroes like Ulysses S. Grant, Frederick Douglass, and even George Washington.
In short: no progress, more anarchy, and too much insanity.
In recent weeks, America has experienced a wave of cancel culture, political polarization, anarchy, and division that almost no one wants. We need to discover new methods that bring Americans together in spirit. One is already in the works.
On July 4th, 2020, President Trump announced an executive order that establishes a task force to propose and create a new statuary site called the National Garden of American Heroes. This site would include life-like monuments of prominent Americans who have dedicated their lives to serving their country in numerous capacities. The order already includes over 30 statues of individuals, including those depicting John Adams, Christa McAuliffe, Harriet Tubman, the Wright Brothers, and Booker T. Washington. The site is anticipated to open by July 4th, 2026 and mark 250 years since the ratification of the Declaration of Independence.
The National Garden should grow alongside a country that builds upon its successes. The federal government and state governments should only pass legislation to add more statues. The garden could be a site for history tours, national holidays, anniversaries, and other special events. The space could host community service programs to maintain the grounds and teach people about the statues that adorn the space and the heroes they represent. With all kinds of uses for the good of the public, the National Garden could be the most interactive national monument in the country.
The National Garden of American Heroes should be one of America's greatest wonders as symbolic grounds of the timeless fight for freedom and prosperity in the United States. The White House rightly calls these monuments "silent teachers" who "preserve the memory of our American story and stir us in a spirit of responsibility for the chapters unwritten." Like the old saying goes, if yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift (that is why we call it the present). These monuments represent heroes who made countless sacrifices so that we may reflect on our history, seize the present, and look forward to a mysterious but promising future.
Imagine people walking with their friends and family through a beautiful garden of classical-style statues that tell the story of America. The National Garden would not just be another recreational or historical site. It would be a national institution that future generations would restore to write the unwritten chapters of this country.
Sherman Tylawsky is an Editor-at-Large for The National Times.