“Do we remember the meaning or just the fight?” A question asked by the author, David W. Blight, of an article, The meaning or the fight: Frederick Douglas and the memory of the Fifty Fourth Massachusetts, imposed a series of questions for the reader to digest, but focuses on this one most. Do we remember the meaning or just the fight? As I read the question my mind went blank. Blights strengths focused on the account of Frederick Douglass as well as the opinion of others. He not only used quotes but also expressed his own opinion to back up his theory. The author argues that an influential man such as Frederick Douglass understood the meaning and importance of the war. Douglass was a recruiter for the Union and believed “blacks” could demonstrate allegiance to their country as well as make a revolution against the old order. He promoted self-defense through learning the concept of how “to use arms,” self-respect and controlling their own future and destiny.
With all of that said, was the fight of any relevance? Did it truly have any meaning, besides a few monuments and knowledge or movie depictions. One writer was even concerned himself with the memory and impact it would have on upcoming generations. I also took it into consideration. It is quite hard to remember something you did not take part in, a hardship you never faced. But I can also relate in many ways starting with the war, of my generation, with the middle easterners, the Iraq-Afghanistan war. The world trade towers falling, the natural disasters; Hurricane Katrina, and the earthquake in China and Haiti. Americans simply acknowledge the Civil War took place only because they are taught in schools. Blights arguments on the meaning behind the fight were valid and certainly gave a clear understanding to me. In my opinion, Blights opposition to a generational memory loss could have been more argumentative. It’s almost as if he never opposed the argument but simply remained neutral. In closing, wars come and go. Some last longer than others and tend to be very brutal. Although memories fade with time, I believe monuments, statues and other memorials keep the meaning of wars relevant.