An American Landscape: The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War
On April 12th, 1861, the first shots of America’s Civil War were fired when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina.
150 years is a lot of time, especially for a nation where many citizens’ grandparents had not even arrived yet. And then suddenly, the blood spilt during the four years of fratricide are immediately relevant, as if it happened yesterday. This is a reflection of the shapeless beauty of history, that it is constantly evolving, its meanings changing to suit our own contemporary needs.
Today America has a black President, and at the same time political groups that deny the Civil War had anything to do with the issue of slavery. We have come so far, and yet barely gone anywhere. The Civil War remains a conflict viewed differently by all sides, North and South, black and white. Perhaps this is a good thing, a rare example of historical memory in a nation often moving forward too fast to look back.