What is it that defines courage, who possesses it, and how should it be memorialized? In recent years we have seen a spate of secular iconoclasm as various monuments to historical figures across the country have been defaced, torn down and demolished. Initially the excuse given by and for the vandals was that the monuments in question had been raised to men who engaged in rebellion against the United States and supported slavery, and thus they should never have been memorialized to begin with. As the destruction was allowed to proceed unchecked by legal authorities, however, soon monuments to the founding fathers of the U.S. were targeted, ostensibly due to owning slaves. Still finding no opposition to their destruction, the mob moved on like unruly young children seeking their parents’ boundaries. Monuments to Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, which had been commissioned and paid for by freed slaves were targeted…
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Courage: keeping one’s word, staying the course, running the race, executing mission- regardless of external challenges OR encouragement.
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