Not surprisingly, most monuments celebrate political, business and military figures. You can criss-cross the country and find statues, schools, government and university buildings, museums, parks, and streets celebrating presidents, senators, governors, jurists, inventor-entrepeneurs, founders of major corporations, generals and fallen soldiers. But our veneration of them often comes at the expense of recognizing other citizens who had a major role in shaping our nation’s history.
Shouldn’t we also honor the organizers, activists, artists, writers, athletes, judges, and occasional elected officials who fought to make the United States a more humane and inclusive country? What about the pioneers who built movements and gave voice to the struggles for women’s suffrage, protecting the environment and consumers, putting an end to lynching, giving workers the right to form unions, and pushing for a progressive income tax, a federal minimum wage, old-age insurance, the 8-hour workday and government-subsidized health care and housing?