HOW THE WORLD TURNS

a small portion of Little Bighorn National Historic Battlefield

a small portion of Little Bighorn National Historic Battlefield

Over the last two days we have had virtually no internet and no cell phone at the ranch at which we were staying. For cell phone, you had to walk out down to the end of the road; for internet, you had to plug in directly to the modem, which my computer cannot do. Therefore, I had to write my post, put it and the photos on a flash drive, plug that into my daughter’s larger computer and have her plug in with the ethernet line to the modem. Downloading or opening any page was so slow, you could go away and cook dinner while a page loaded, and even then it was all hit or miss. Frustration was great and the wine flowed, but so did the thoughts in my poor brain. How the hell did I get to this point where I go berserk when I have no cell and no internet? I was born LONG before the computer took over our lives; I shouldn’t need it! Cristal, born in the ‘80s on the cusp of the computer revolution, pointed out that kids today can’t imagine life without computers because they’ve always had them. Well, I’m that kid…and tonight I’m happy to have internet once again in a cabin in Medora, ND.

On the way here, we stopped at the Little Bighorn National Historic Site, driving the five miles around the signs and back, posted explanations of what took place, along with a cell phone commentary. The battlefield sits in the middle of the Crow Agency reservation, with small stone markers showing where the dead lay, white stones for the cavalry and red for the native Americans. While I was totally immersed in seeing the battlefield, I realized suddenly that I had very mixed feelings about its existence as a national landmark. Libby Custer tried for years to perpetuate the ‘myth’ of her husband’s heroism. History has revealed, I daresay, the jackass Custer actually was, as well as the unspeakable injustices of what we have done to native Americans. IMG_2116I imagine that, in some ways, making the site a National Cemetery for the warrior dead up through the Vietnam War has given the site some ulterior purpose.

The world does turn.

 

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10 responses to “HOW THE WORLD TURNS

  1. Doris McCraw/Angela Raines

    History and our perception of it never ceases to amaze. As for computer and cell service, I admit, I don’t use a cell that much, but oh my computer.
    But to my credit, I still write my scenes in longhand then transfer them over. Clinging to the past and missing the future. Oh well. Have a safe trip on the next days of your journey. Doris

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  2. I well appreciate your upset (disgust?) about Custer and his wife’s glorification of him. Is this dealt with at the site now? I would hope so despite any controversy that it might stir up. I feel it is past time for the US Government to acknowledge this as a travesty.

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    • Arletta the NPS does not take what might be regarded as a political stance. The site simply does a retelling of the battle action from both points of view. The bookstore does however sell books of all persuasions

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  3. When we toured the Little Big Horn battle site while researching Grasshoppers in Summer, our docent was a Crow woman who gave us a flavor for oral traditions that may not have made it into the history books. Very moving site. I am doing a post series on the Custer Contradictions. The man still inspires strong feelings based on the comments I get. Most run to your sentiments; but believe it or not, he still has his fans.

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  4. Those who support him seem to lean on his Civil War record. He did have some big wins; but a lot of people died to get them.

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  5. At least the NPS now recognizes that someone besides white soldiers fought and died there. It used to be called Custer Battlefield National Monument, and it was a hell of a fight to get the name changed. The NPS not political? Maybe in some other alternate reality.

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    • Althea I stand corrected. They are of course political in fighting for certain things which I won’t go into here I do however believe they now try to present balanced views on their various sites, particularly notable on Civil War battlefields. I didn’t know Little Bighorns original name. Thanks for pointing that out

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