Seeing is believing for many people when it comes to questioning what they’ve only been hearing about for years.  A family story told through several generations resonates with family members and how historical events shaped their lives. A story in a book or family documents tells one side of the narrative, but when something comes along that truly affirms all the stories and anecdotes, it makes history all the more real. 

 

Perhaps this is why national landmarks, battlefields, and other historic sites can exhibit a profound impact on someone.  The natural landscape or aged buildings can almost teleport a person back in time to point where history was made, bringing it together in intricate detail. Historic landmarks are the fixture by which historians, genealogists, archivists, educators, and other history enthusiasts can literally touch (or not touch depending on the sites’ rules) the physical structure where many came before.  These are just some of the reasons why preserving historic sites of all types are necessary in the field of history.  If landmarks were to disappear, the difficulty in showing where and how historical events unfolded would increase exponentially.  They’re the physical spaces that fill the blank pages of what we interpret from our history books. 

 

To read about history is one thing, but to see where it all happened and to stand in the environment where notable people and extraordinary events occurred is a different matter all its own. 

 

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The Boston Massacre stop on the Freedom Trail, Boston, MA