In the recent past, the Helena Independent Record ran a headline about the local transference of a long established holiday into a new one; from Columbus Day to an Indigenous People's Day. This also goes along with a recent removal of a memorial that was placed in a city park for well over 100 years.

What we are seeing across America as well as locally is the nullification of our history by a small but vocal portion of our population. A micro example of nullification is when one drives down Sierra Road and the driver believes that 35 mph is way too slow so they nullify this law to whatever speed the driver deems fit for the occasion. A macro example of nullification is when a small group of people in Helena decide to remove a historic memorial after the Helena City Commission had decided to leave it, with a local history organization providing a plaque to explain its background. This small group had decided that its own individual feelings nullified any other decisions that were were made by those elected to a recent city commission.

We have just experienced the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. In an article published by the Helena Independent Record and speaking to those German memorials for their war dead (Friday, June 7, p. A10); "Fallen soldiers are commemorated in humble memorials on village squares across the country ....". This is a group of people morning their dead and nobody is saying that these memorials are glorifying Nazis. The same is true of our situation, we also had a humble memorial in our village square yet a small group was intent upon their revisionism and nullification of our history. It was written (in The Civil War Monitor, Vol. 2, No. 4, Winter 2017, pp. 34) that; "... monuments can be statements of power, but the statements they make rarely remain stable ... Memorials, in contrast, are simply remembrances that something happened to these people ... they are not statements of power." This article goes on to say that the memorial to the Donner Party is not a statement about the desirability of cannibalism. 

Yet, we have a small group of people that wish to remove or rewrite our history; just as the Soviets did when they removed all likenesses of Lenin and later Stalin. L. Ron Hubbard once said that if you don't want to irritate anyone then stand for nothing. The new monument to nullification should be called Helena's Tofu Monument.

As for the renaming of Columbus Day, why not have the Indigenous People's Day one day before and leave Columbus Day alone? Everybody can present their view without the taint of political revisionism.

Blake Running


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