Tuesday, December 19

Where It Happened: Documenting the American Places We’d Like to Forget

Site of the Sand Creek Massacre, Eads, Colorado, where unarmed Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians were slaughtered by a volunteer militia.
"We drive and walk every day over the places where somebody once wept or bled; the earth is a repository of invisible pain. Only in extremely rare instances are these places deemed historically important enough to be commemorated, and only in harmony with contemporary politics that can identify clear moral contours. Think of the secular holy ground of the World Trade Center site, the swan-white memorial over the wreck of the USS Arizona, the marble obelisks looming over any number of Revolutionary War battlefields. But what of those places that are too ethically ambiguous or nationally embarrassing to remember? Does the land conspire to swallow them up, returning them to a place of forgetting? Why would we want to recall the place in a remote canyon where a vigilante gang led by some of the most prominent citizens of Tucson descended on a camp of Apache Indians and slaughtered most of them, selling the rest into slavery? Are these places holy or unholy? ..."
LA Times

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