Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Strange City Built of Stone and Water

On my last day in DC I went to the FDR memorial (by far my favorite) and the Jefferson memorial (which I don't think I'd ever been to before), and it occured to me that DC is a very strange city. The entire city is filled with stone and water monuments to so many people, and it's kinda taken for granted that that's just what you do when you want to honor someone - you build a big stone statue with some waterfalls to commemorate them.

But why do we do that? Why is that taken for granted? Why is that the best way to honor people? Besides for the great waste that is involved in these things, I really just think it's an odd way to memorialize people's great contributions to our society.


At 8/11/05, 2:48 PM, Blogger Samuel J. Scott said...

I've thought that myself from time to time. But here's some random questions to throw out:

1. If we didn't do statues, what would be another appropriate method to memorialize those who served our country?

2. When we build statues of famous historical Americans and millions of people travel to see them, is that equivalent to idol worship?

I don't really have answers to these. I just like to throw out questions...

At 8/12/05, 9:37 AM, Blogger fsgsf said...

Why is it strange? It has been done since time immemorial. And if not for the ancient statues and plaques etc. we would have no memory of many people and things. In a way it is like a glorified tombstone. You dont propose to elimenate tombstones too, do you?


NJ from NJ

At 8/12/05, 12:20 PM, Blogger Eli7 said...

NewJew, I really like the question about idol worship. I don'tknow the answers either, but it is really weird. And NormalJew, while I don't propose eliminating tombstones, I think they're kinda strange too, but what's really strange is that DC is just one glorified conglomerate tombstone.

At 8/14/05, 7:40 AM, Blogger Karl said...

I think we make these big stone edifices because we assume that is what dead people want - something big and permanent. What can you give someone who is no longer here if not the ability to live on in something long lasting? It is something that people will remember the "hero" by for as long as the stone is there. People don't want to be gone, this helps them accomplish that.

Visiting them is of course idolatry if and only if we attach holiness to them. Anything one attaches holiness to (beside God) is idolatrous. (Especialy things made of rocks.)


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