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Remembering and Commemorating the War Essay

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Remembering and Commemorating the War Essay
According to Blight, Fredrick Douglas fought hard to protect the memory of the war. What was Douglas’s memory of the war and why did he try to protect it?

North vs. South, Confederates vs. The Union. Rifles were fired… brother vs. brother. Men were named heroes for seemingly valiant acts in battle. We learn many things from the past. A nation was literally ripped in half in what was called the bloodiest conflict in American History. History is not an obsolete thing. Rather, it teachers valuable lessons. It can’t be denied how tragic the Civil War really was in American History. “It is not well to forget the past. Memory was given to man for some wise purpose. The past is the mirror in which we discern the dim outlines of the future and by which we may make them”(97). Prominent American Figure Fredrick Douglas was born a slave, educated, freed himself then became an accomplished author that fought for equality for blacks and many other groups in America. In the text Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War, author David W. Blight describes Douglas’s memory of the Civil War as something beyond the battlefield.
Fredrick Douglas recognized the heroism and the death that happened on the battlefield. However there was much more than the combat and battle happenings that Douglas remembered. Douglas remembered what it was to be a slave; this very insight was the key to his memory of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War. Douglass fought “using the power of language and historical imagination”(114). During the Civil War so many men fought for various reasons, several different ideologies. The war was a “war of ideas, a battle of principles …a war between the old and the new, slavery and freedom, barbarism and civilization”(171). Weather it was theological or simply political each man was...

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