On April 12th, 1861, the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina lit up as the bombardment of Fort Sumter began. Years of speeches and seething hatred dissolved into a blur of cannon balls and bloodshed. The Civil War was on. Exactly 150 years later the echoes of this horrible conflict run through our culture as we continue to digest exactly how we came to intense destruction and what it meant.
Studying history is not important for the purpose of blaming those who took part in it, but to avoid the mistakes made. A straight line from where we were to where we are today is the only reasonable extrapolation into our future and progress. It is imperfect, but it is what we have.
The anniversary of the start of the Civil War is a great time to look back and see how far we have come – and yet see the same destructive arguments that play out to this day.