Not long ago, I was talking to a high ranking military retired veteran who had gone to the local military base commissary, and stopped in at the base library. He was beside himself and flabbergasted when he learned that the base library was getting rid of all their old books, and contracting with an outside company to run the base library. They were not selling the old books, they were giving them away, or throwing them in the trash. He rescued as many as he could put in his pickup truck. Okay so, I’d like to explore this problematic event for a moment if I might.
You see, getting rid of all the old history books is actually the same is getting rid of our history. If those who are serving in our military cannot know of their parent’s and grandparent’s era, or what really happened in World War II, and are forced to read newer history books with second or third hand knowledge, then they aren’t learning history at all. They are learning a mild watered-down version of military history. Further, what’s that famous saying; “those who fail to learn their history, are doomed to repeat it.”
Well, let’s take this one step further then, if you are learning a watered-down version of history, you aren’t actually learning the real history, therefore you are guaranteed to be doomed to repeat the actuality of that past period – do you see my point here? Why on Earth would we get rid of old military history books at the library on any military base? Even the scholars that study history, if they weren’t there, they are once removed from what actually happened. That’s quite unfortunate.
Now realize, I have nothing against the company who has won the contract to service the libraries on base, and I do believe that military base libraries are very important to keep open. I applaud the government and military for saving budget money. But to replace all of those old books with new ones, and to throw them away like that, well to me, that’s just unthinkable. Incidentally, I do have a number of military books myself, and I realize that one day my home may look more like a museum with all of those paper books, in the new era of e-books.
Nevertheless, it seems insane to toss out perfectly good books, just because the libraries are switching over to independent contractors, rather than being run in-house by military librarians. I realize that many of the colleges and universities are also going to contract libraries, and perhaps that’s where the military got the idea, but I can’t say I believe that’s a good way to play it at the University or at our military bases.
We need not be doomed to repeat for failure to study our actual history. This is the greatest nation ever created in human history, let’s not forget our trials and tribulations. Please consider all this and think on it.