March 15, 2016 > Editorial: Perspective
As current events unfold, past patterns of behavior are recognized by those of us who have been around long enough to relate them to personal experiences and observations. What is new to some mimics the past for others; a replay of sorts. Invariably, generations recede into the past, and as they do, lessons learned and perspective can be lost. Valuable information - history, people, events and heritage Ð may be relegated to dusty corners of rooms reserved for scholars and academics. This is regrettable, but fortunately countered by public and private museums that display and engage visitors.
A noteworthy trend exploration of our DNA through companies such as 23andme, ancestryDNA and others reveal clues of our origins; they are an indication of an innate curiosity of who we are and where we came from. Artifacts of the past are remnants of real people and real events. Critical thinking and evaluation of current events should be placed in context; understanding and appreciation of the past is the gateway toward logical and rational evaluation of present controversies and events.
Recently, several local historical societies decided to create a unified representative group. This is a major step toward forming an integrated reservoir of knowledge that can present a comprehensive and compelling presentation to citizens and visitors. Although displays including structures, documents and artifacts are available, a centralized depository and inventory is nonexistent. In some cases such as the Hayward Area Historical Society, expansion of display area has occurred, in most cases, a small group of citizens protect and preserve our history without the benefit of adequate space, organization or funding. This needs to change!
Our future - the younger generation - deserves to learn lessons of the past and embrace their heritage, whether through their own genetic trail or an adopted immigrant past. It is important to understand what happened here that led to the present. That tale can be told through exhibits at a venue called a museum. Although there are many facets to the story, at least we can honor its importance by creating a central location housing important artifacts and pointing to historical sites throughout our communities that enhance the experience.
At this time, Fremont is defining and planning a Civic Center; why not include an area Museum of History as part of the grand design?