Imperfect Monuments Can Stay if They Meet Certain Criteria
No monument will have a 'perfect' history everyone will agree with or like, but its inherent value does not lie in that. It is in what they can teach us about how we see history and what it can inspire. The Vietnam War was a controversy which sowed a decade of chaos and division in the U.S. but its memorial to fallen soldiers is powerful because it shows how complicated and nuanced history can be and a reminder of the humanity involved in the war and its politics at home. No president in American history has been perfect, but statues and memorials dotting the National Mall in Washington, DC serve as tangible history lessons about the decisions they made and their lasting impact on the nation as a whole. Despite these leaders' perceived mistakes, the unity, patriotism, and lofty ideals of the office of the president is the purpose of those monuments.