Knowledge of the past is essential to proper evaluation of the present and the future. History is not just dates and battles. It entails the development of a people and their culture. From its prime to today, America has become the nation that it is because of the steps of our ancestors. The America that hopefully is loved by most of its citizens should be appreciated. We are the greatest nation; consequently, we should understand how that happened in such a short time.
Everyone who is an American has an interconnectedness. We are linked through our past. History affords evidential information about people's behavior, societies proclivities, and possibilities for the future.
Further, history affords the knowledge to assist in change. When a negative development comes along, in order, to fully institute understanding, one must look back at how and why the change happened. For example, as far as 9/11 terrorist attacks, history provided knowledge concerning why the US was attacked, who were the terrorists, and what events led to the tragedy. Columbine, muliple suicides, technological changes--scientist, behavorists, economist, psychologists all use history to determine where to go next in solving or helping to improve these problems.
"History teaching by example" is one phrase that describes this study of the past—a study not only of certifiable heroes, the great men and women of history who successfully worked through moral dilemmas, but also of more ordinary people who provide lessons in courage, perseverance, or constructive protest. The settlers who traveled west, the first brave astronauts, the explorers, the civil rights workers--these people can teach myriad lessons of courage, fortitude, and values.
Patriotism springs from history. Every person who sings "The Star Spangled Banner" should know the story behind the poem and know what inspired Francis Scott Key to write it. All Americans should hear the humorous story of Benjamin Franklin promoting the turkey as the national bird. These are the anecdotes of our country. Should we not know everything possible about the greatest nation on earth?
Robert Penn Warren, a poet laureate stated:
History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.
Today's generations like to take short cuts. There are some aspects of society that require attention. Studying history is one of those long term projects for all Americans.