By Monique Larkin
By Monique Larkin
Hidden from the everyday student is a wall in the RCC Digital library that holds several sacred documents that are invaluable to each and every American’s freedom.
Freedom in this country can be sometimes taken for granted, so it is important to have little reminders of how much freedom Americans really have.
Settled in the RCC Digital Library is a Freedom Shrine donated by the Magnolia Exchange Club, the Raincross Exchange Club and the Riverside Exchange Club.
Shrines are sometimes places of worship, prayer, reflection, but moreover, shrines are reminders of what should not be taken for granted, disrespected, or forgotten. In this instance, the shrine that represents the documents that initiated the freedoms that Americans now enjoy today is placed on a wall in the RCC Digital Library that some students visit everyday, sometimes twice a day.
The Freedom Shrine was dedicated to the RCC Digital Library on May 19 and created by the National Exchange club to strengthen the appreciation of American heritage in every citizen and student.
Melissa Pradin, a part-time student at RCC, said that she has never paid attention to the Freedom Shrine because it is nothing that has caught her eye.
“I usually just walk right past it. I haven’t taken the time to look at it,” Pradin said. “It is nothing big; I didn’t even know it was there.”If students should take a closer look to their left as they first walk into the Digital Library, then they will see the 30 plaques of American history that sculpt the Freedom Shrine.
The intention of the National Exchange Club in creating the Freedom Shrine is to instill pride and appreciation in Americans for their heritage. So the question of what if the freedom to appreciate and have pride for one’s history and country was taken away should be asked.
“I do take some freedoms for granted. Like the freedoms to go to school and to date interracially,” Pradin said. “They are things that you see every day and that you don’t really pay attention to are the things that you take for granted. I would have taken the time to look at it if I knew that it had things like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.”
Shortly after being interviewed by Viewpoints, Pradin visited the RCC Digital Library’s Freedom Shrine for the first time.
The Freedom Shrine is an impressive, permanently mounted collection of 30 of the most important and historic American documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Gettysburg address. These remarkable documents serve as windows to the world of America’s proud past. They show the nation’s unity, youth, struggle, and triumph, as well as the strength and courage of America’s founding fathers.
Seated less than 10 feet from the Freedom Shrine in the Digital Library was Jack Shaughnessy, a part-time student at RCC, who wasn’t even aware of the American history that he could almost smell from where he was sitting.
“I didn’t even know that it was there, I would have taken a look, I love that history stuff,” Shaughnessy said. “From being born in this county, I have enjoyed freedoms that other people in other countries do not have. I think that we get used to our freedom, and we get comfortable. So, we forget what it was like before our forefathers and we forget about what they had to go through and reminders such as these are always good.”And that is all the Freedom Shrine is. It is simply a reminder of the documents that shaped this country. They are documents that should be studied and admired as well as enjoyed.
Digital Library Hours:Monday-Thursday:7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday:7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.Saturday:closedsunday:closed