Where are we go­ing? Where have we been?

The Dundalk Eagle - - OPINION - By NICOLE RODMAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

The Dun­dalk, Edge­mere and Fort Howard ar­eas are a his­tory buff’s dream.

From the War of 1812 to the rise and fall of Spar­rows Point, the his­tory of our com­mu­nity and her peo­ple is rich, proud and, im­por­tantly, well-doc­u­mented by many in­tel­li­gent, skilled and highly-ded­i­cated lo­cal his­to­ri­ans.

You may never have no­ticed, but take a look around. Many his­tor­i­cal mark­ers note points of in­ter­est across the com­mu­nity, from Lo­gan Field to Bat­tle Acre to the Dun­dalk, Mary­land, marker on Dun­dalk Av­enue near the Amer­i­can Le­gion.

Much of what I’ve cov­ered over my years at the

Ea­gle has re­volved around the area’s rev­er­ence for lo­cal his­tory.

In re­cent months, we have cov­ered many cel­e­bra­tions of this his­tory, in­clud­ing Nor­ris Ford 100th an­niver­sary, Edge­mere El­e­men­tary’s lo­cal his­tory project pre­sen­ta­tion, the open­ing of the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s 50-year-old time cap­sule and cel­e­bra­tion of the 100th an­niver­sary of Old Dun­dalk, Turner Sta­tion’s cel­e­bra­tions of Black His­tory Month and the legacy of Hen­ri­etta Lacks, De­fend­ers Day … the list goes on and on.

Last Fri­day, I had the plea­sure of at­tend­ing an- other event of his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance — a cel­e­bra­tion of the 200th an­niver­sary of the ded­i­ca­tion of the Aquila Ran­dall Mon­u­ment on Old North Point Road (see front).

The heat, as you know, was sti­fling. I can’t com­plain, at least not in the pres­ence of re-en­ac­tors bear­ing those tem­per­a­tures while wear­ing wool suits, but it was hot.

Yet, de­spite a heat in­dex al­ready push­ing triple dig­its by 10 a.m., the small plot of grass sur­round­ing the mon­u­ment was packed with at­ten­dees, un­de­terred in their de­sire to pay trib­ute to lo­cal his­tory and he­roes.

The cer­e­mony was beau­ti­ful. As the dul­cet tones of the Cho­rus of the Ch­e­sa­peake floated on the thick, hu­mid air, the stone mon­u­ment gleam­ing white in the sun, I was re­minded of one of the rea­sons I love this com­mu­nity, our ap­pre­ci­a­tion for his­tory.

This sen­ti­ment was re­flected in a re­mark by Coun­cil­man Todd Cran­dell dur­ing the cer­e­mony last week.

“The only thing that keeps us strong is a rev­er­ence for where we came from” he said.

While we may have our ups and downs, here and across the na­tion, we can not and do not for­get where it started.

With­out sac­ri­fices like those made by Aquila Ran­dall, a 24-year-old pri­vate whose blood was spilled to pre­serve our na­tion, we would not be the na­tion we are to­day.

Across Dun­dalk, Edge­mere and Fort Howard, you can see mon­u­ments and memo­ri­als to peo­ple who sac­ri­ficed to build our com­mu­nity and na­tion.

There are the sol­diers, yes, but it goes be­yond that.

A walk through Her­itage Park brings you to the me­mo­rial to fallen steel­work­ers (re-homed in re­cent years from the Dun­dalk Steel­work­ers hall). These are work­ers who paid the ul­ti­mate price build­ing our com­mu­nity, our coun­try and sup­port­ing their fam­i­lies.

There is the me­mo­rial plaque to Hen­ri­etta Lacks at her for­mer home on New Pitts­burg Av­enue in Turner Sta­tion. Though an un­wit­ting donor, Lacks’ suf­fer­ing and death gave rise to treat­ments for some of hu­man­i­ties most dread dis­eases.

Our com­mu­nity is a liv­ing mon­u­ment to the strength and courage of our an­ces­tors — a mon­u­ment pre­served through the hard work of lo­cal of­fi­cials, com­mu­nity lead­ers and his­to­ri­ans.

So take a tour of the Dun­dalk-Pat­ap­sco Neck His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety. Visit Fort Howard Park. Tour Turner Sta­tion. Visit Bat­tle Acre.

Re­mem­ber where we came from. It is key as we fig­ure out, to­gether, where we are go­ing.

Speak­ing of lo­cal his­tory, af­ter a long hia­tus, Scrap­book is back in this week’s is­sue.

I am pleased to an­nounce the re­turn of the pop­u­lar fea­ture, which of­fers a glimpse into is­sues the Ea

gle was cov­er­ing 40, 30, 20 and 10 years ago.

So check it out and let us know what you think!

Opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the writer and do not rep­re­sent the opin­ion of The Dun­dalk Ea­gle or Adams Pub­lish­ing Group.

PHOTO BY NICOLE RODMAN

The Aquila Ran­dall mon­u­ment on Old North Point Road.

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