Nothing makes me angrier than those who have no respect for History. I don’t know if its more common, or that I’m simply paying more attention. Whenever I visit a landmark I experience the disappointment of seeing how some have defaced it.
“Ariel + Josh”
“David wuzzz here”
No one really cares that David was here. No one, except maybe David. And he is most likely embarrassed. Ashamed that his sixteen year old self wrote such a stupid phrase on the that 100 year old covered Bridge. If he’s not he, should be.
Ariel and Josh are likely broken up. I always look at those hearts and laugh. Can you imagine returning years later with your family? You look up to see that heart carved into the wood next to your ex-boyfriends name from high school. You will always be immortalized in that tiny heart that was forged in a passionate lapse of judgment.
I came to think about this subject this weekend. I visited Odiorne and witnessed this first hand. I went down the paths towards Battery Seaman. Down towards the old structures from World War Two. All of them bearing layers of graffiti. The only ones that have been spared are those at the front that lay-under watchful eyes.
I have loved the area since my friends and I discovered it. Two years ago while we were exploring, we stumbled upon the large concrete caverns that once housed the 16″ guns. The grass was high and the sun was on our backs. We were pulled in by our curiosity. Even in the summer, the deep caverns of the turrets were dark and cool. Our footsteps echoed as we delved deeper. We looked around the expanse opening all around us. It was awesome to be in such a historical place, yet also so sad.
All on the old concrete walls lay graffiti. Some of it was juvenile, such as stars, animals or genitalia across the wall. The weak attempts made to cover it up had failed. New graffiti had blossomed up where the old had been. Some of it was beautiful, big drawing and great art. I admired it, but at the same time it did not belong on these historic walls.
But some was much more malignant. Phrases about anarchy and strange drawings. There were also swastikas too. To see such a symbol of hate carelessly put upon a wall is unnerving. It is a symbol that represents hate in such broad and destructive terms. It should be a symbol that is buried deep, yet it is here, splashed across a wall with spray pain. Here in a place that was meant to keep that evil at bay. It makes me sad that these places are forgotten and left to people who do not care.
Part of me gets it, we have an inherent need to put out name on something, to claim it. We need to leave our mark on this world. Yet there are ways to do this without defacing historical landmarks or marring places of cultural interest. Because when add your little bit of yourself, you are taking away from the bigger picture.