Source: Essex County Herald
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Utility in Memorials”
City of publication: Island Pond, Vermont
Date of publication: 28 August 1903
Volume number: 31
Issue number: 16
|“Utility in Memorials.” Essex County Herald 28 Aug. 1903 v31n16: p. .|
|McKinley memorialization (Honolulu, HI Territory).|
Utility in Memorials
The proposition of the city of Honolulu
to erect a monument to the late President McKinley in the form of a lighthouse
at the entrance of its harbor is to be commended. As it was under the administration
of President McKinley that Hawaii came into the American Union it seems eminently
fitting that he should be commemorated there. The proposed lighthouse tower
would not only serve as a most appropriate monument, but also a purpose of daily
utility, its service to man being in itself a perpetual act of commemoration.
The very finest sort of monument is that which combines with the commemorative function that of utility. The idea should grow in popularity. In various ways it has long been followed. We have memorial libraries, schools, churches, hospitals, drinking fountains, bridges and public parks. There is no reason why it should not be still further extended to anything that may be monumentally beautiful and at the same time generally useful for the community. A monumental lighthouse tower, for instance, might be made as impressive and stately a landmark as were it simply a commemorative shaft without further significance. It would bring the name of the person commemorated to the mind of every sailor whose ship it should guide safely into port and to every passenger who should fare therein.
A lighthouse monument is something not entirely new. The lighthouse at the Havana Morro castle, for instance, marking the entrance to the harbor, is known as the O’Donnell tower, in commemoration of the distinguished Spanish general once captain general of Cuba. The colossal Bartholdi statue in New York harbor, “Liberty Enlightening the World,” was intended to serve as a beacon, although its service in that position is not of the utility that it might have had upon another site. The recent action of Honolulu, however, suggests the possibility of an admirable and general application of the idea. Why would it not be well to make all the lighthouses that are hereafter built, particularly when they occupy conspicuous sites on frequented parts of our coasts, truly monumental and commemorative of historic personalities whose memories deserve to be perpetuated in enduring and concrete form? The additional cost for the lighthouses would be comparatively little, while a saving would be effected in special appropriations for monuments pure and simple that otherwise might be called for. The suggestion which comes from our mid-Pacific possession is on the whole a good one.