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    The Acton Institute continues its bimonthly publication partnership with The Detroit News. This November, Dan Hugger, Acton’s librarian and research associate, wrote a piece on the tearing down of public monuments.

    Hugger begins with a brief history, explaining why for thousands of years people have created these public works. “Monuments serve as physical vessels through which cultures the world over not only remember their heritage but also continue to transmit that heritage to the next generation.” Considering their ability to effectively transmit memories, Hugger notes that it is not surprising that monuments are at the center of the culture wars.

    Hugger highlights two recent incidents in London and New York City. In London, a group is petitioning the Imperial College London to remove a statue of Thomas Henry Huxley, while in New York a group unanimously voted to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson from City Hall. Both groups propose that these men had ties to racism and should not be celebrated. But, Hugger explains, it is their achievements in science and civics that are being celebrated with those monuments, not racism.

    To conclude, Hugger imagines a hopeful, less destructive way forward. “There is no option to erase the past and start anew; what we imagine we were will determine, in part, what we become, and a transformative grace applied to our past will secure a brighter future.”

    Read the full article at acton.is/monuments.

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    Ben Stoner works as a Development Associate for Acton Institute.  Ben was raised in Grand Rapids, MI alongside three amazing brothers and one wonderful sister.  He attended Aquinas College where he received his B.A. in Art and Writing.  After graduating from Aquinas, Ben pursued a Master’s degree at Grand Valley State University in Higher Education and College Leadership. In addition to his work at Acton, Ben enjoys studying Modern Art, creative writing, playing guitar, and traveling to new and exciting locations across the globe.