Have you forgotten the past?

“Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it” – G. Santayana. I first came across this quote on a tablet engraved at Dachau, a German concentration camp during WW II. The camp is now a war memorial for the millions of Jewish people and others murdered by the Nazis. Today, more than 50 years later and we still are fighting over the truth of the Holocaust. There are still those who say the Holocaust never happened. Worse, there are those who sport Nazi arm bands and wear Hitler tattoos. Many of us have no wish to forget the past but we want to remember it accurately. It is not heritage when there is hate involved. It should not be remembered with nostalgia by the perpetrators when others suffered, died and were ignominiously buried. Imagine if someone suddenly said that crucifixions were an important part of their heritage and they did not want to forget them! Christians venerate the resurrection not the crucifixion of Jesus.

What a desecration to the past efforts of millions of Americans and others who gave their lives to wipe this disease of fascism and hate off of the face of the earth! To parade around in jack boots and Heil Hitler salutes is an insult to humanity. How in heaven’s name has it blossomed again and why? Are we so ignorant of the past that we do not think it can happen again? Do we not read the paper and notice the increased violence against minorities and immigrants. Why is this true? Why are we forgetting the past and allowing this rotten blight to spread? Are we willing to trade our freedom for security? What about the past do you need to remember? What have you chosen to forget it?

Are you confusing heritage with hate? Do you romanticize the past and forget the evil that was often done to others? The good old days were not often so good to others as they might have been to some.

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