"The two sat on a bench and looked out the window towards Notre Dame. Near the window was a small wooden desk with an old-fashioned typewriter. At certain hours the bells of Notre Dame rang through the room. It was raining, as it normally seems to in Paris, and the pitter of the rain reminded Wałzyński of the footsteps of the masses storming the gates of tyranny." - "The Insurrectionists" by Emily Hausheer
I wrote this scene outside the glorious Notre Dame cathedral in the summer of 2016. This majestic building will forever hold a place in my heart.
My tears of sorrow hit the ground when I heard of the terrible fire that swept through the Notre Dame cathedral. However, these tears soon turned into indignation - something needs to change.
I recall experiencing the same feeling when I heard about the National Museum fire in Brazil.
People are always outraged when they hear about iconic masterpieces being devastated. We express our sorrow and share pictures, but there must be something more we can do.
We are betraying the future and betraying posterity by not working harder to preserve history.
Have you ever felt indignation over the destruction of Paris in the 1800s? Or wept tears because of the burning of the Library of Alexandria? Much the same way, posterity is looking at us and will judge us for our actions. We have an obligation and a duty to preserve history for the future. Art, architecture, history, culture - this is all what makes us human.
Tell me, my dear readers, when was the first time you saw a magnificent piece of cultural heritage? The height of human achievement is displayed in cities throughout the world. Tourism is increasing as more and more people flock to these structures.
However, at this time in history when more people want to see the world, funding for the preservation of history is being cut.
Alas, I am no historian, but it is in times like these that we see the value of history and realize that it is more than "a nice thing" to preserve it for the future - it is our duty.
We judge those who did not save Paris from Haussmann's destruction. We need to instill measures in the present time to preserve our cultural heritage for the future.
At the rate science is advancing, we can do this, as we have done so many wonders through science already. STEM and the humanities are sisters! We shall use all of our knowledge to rebuild the past so that we can preserve it for the future. Instead of seeing STEM and the humanities as being in competition with one another, let us work in solidarity and see to it that all of the knowledge of the world is used to preserve our cultural heritage for all to enjoy.
Knowledge! Alas, the beacon of light in a democracy is knowledge. Without knowledge, people are prone to ignorance and hate. By preserving our cultural heritage, we preserve knowledge, the summit of the mountain of liberty. Reason (science) is an important cornerstone to help us rebuild, but we must use all types of knowledge that we are given and that we shall continue to seek.
We have these tools within our grasp, and we have within us the ingenuity to build a future where history is preserved in a better state. We have the motivation and the public consensus to work together to preserve history. In our progress, let us not forget the past, but let us preserve the past for future generations to enjoy forever.
Join with me and say #NotOneMore. We will in solidarity make an effort to preserve our cultural heritage and raise awareness for the future.