Speaker's Stand: Don't lose our history
by Joseph B. Howell
Special to The Star
Jul 02, 2009 | 2052 views |  0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I write concerning the eminent destruction of Alabama's largest Native American ceremonial ground of its type.

This Native American burial mound next to Oxford Exchange is to be removed and used for fill dirt for construction. Even though other fill dirt is available, the most conveniently located dirt is the rare historical site itself. The city of Oxford has determined that it is best for the community if the most convenient dirt is used, even if it is deemed by many as historically significant land and by many Native Americans as sacred soil containing their ancestors' remains.

Some say this tragic destruction of historical significance is done out of simple greed and quest for monetary gain. How could it be when money for Oxford could be made by opening the Native American site to tourists traveling Interstate 20? One simple billboard on the busy interstate could yield untold profits.

Others claim that the destruction of the holy hill, complete with its lake, artifacts and unexplored cave, is the best thing for the community. How could this be, since the community hasn't voted on the issue? How do we know the community wouldn't favor their school children having a Native American historical site so near their homes?

Just take a look at Stonehenge in the U.K., the pyramids in Egypt, the Holy Mount in Jerusalem, or the Native American sites all over the United States. These are places where enlightened citizens know the value of what they have, even if the stones would make good fill dirt for "progress." Residents there have not only profited civically from preserving sacred links to their history, but they have economically benefited, as well.

If it's not the money, and if it's not in the best interest of the residents, what could be the driving force behind the elimination of Oxford's rare treasure? I am sorry to say that it's the malady that has reached epidemic proportions in the world — an inability to recognize or value the sacred around us.

Just imagine if the leadership of Oxford could see what a rare jewel they possess in this mountain. If so, then their sons and daughters of the area could profit from it in many ways forever, whereas its destruction would eliminate that possibility for that same amount of time.

Joseph B. Howell is a resident of Anniston.
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Speaker's Stand: Don't lose our history by Joseph B. Howell
Special to The Star

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