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Let’s Be Civilized Land, Edit Plaque

To the Editor:

It’s been nearly 50 years since Oneonta’s Neahwa Park actually fronted the Susquehanna
River, as still claimed in the plaque there that commemorates Sullivan’s 1779 Expedition. And it was 60 years earlier, in 1912, that the plaque was written and commissioned.

Time passes. Things change. Language matters. And history does seem to want to repeat itself.
As detailed in his article, “Massacre & Retribution: The 1779-80 Sullivan Expedition,” historian and author Ron Soodalter presents this violent punitive campaign as taking place within an escalating cycle of action and reaction. Sadly, the recent suggestion that the plaque’s language be examined and some sort of modern interpretive/corrective action be considered seems to be following a similar pattern.

In recent years, far too many of us have been hunkering down ever deeper within our silos and echo chambers, listening only to opinions and positions we agree with, with increasing intolerance for all others. That was bad enough, but now the silos are sprouting gunports.

Can’t we discuss anything even a little controversial with respect anymore? With reference to the plaque’s language, isn’t it about time we made good on the promise of this becoming a civilized land?



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