History has been defined as the study of past events and human affairs. But history itself is so much more. History is flipping through a collection of family photographs with a loved one. It’s the emotion that one feels when they remember those that they have lost. History is remembering; remembering a time when we were young and the treasures of the world were at our feet. Sledding down a snowy hill with friends until your toes are numb, not wanting to go home. History is made when family comes together and laughter is shared along with tears.
History is learned from textbooks in a classroom. Yet it is experienced out in the world. In the library doing research. Discovering knowledge once unknown. History is regret and anger, tragedy and triumph. History is the hearts of a people coming together in hope in the wake of devastation. History is the comfort given to a dying loved one at the side of a hospital bed. It is remembering the joy when a kite takes flight on a windy spring day.
History is not for the faint of heart. It is there for those that not only wish to learn from the past but to endure it. It is not there for us to like or dislike. It is there for us to learn from. If history offends, then it has done its job because then we are less likely to repeat it. History is not ours to change or destroy.