Graffiti reactionBy Vicki Sairs, Rosedale Bible College Irwin, Ohio
I’d like to respond to Duane Schrag’s concern over my supposed approval of graffiti at Trachselwald Castle (Letters, March 19). Perhaps a look at the original text of the article submitted to MWR (“In Europe, Discovering History Deepens Faith,” March 5) will add a bit of context and nuance:
“The group visited Trachselwald Castle near Bern, Switzerland, where Anabaptists had been imprisoned. Emily Maust, 20, from Salisbury, Pa., was surprised by her reaction to seeing the names of present-day visitors scrawled on the inside walls of the tower [emphasis added]. ‘I loved it! Seeing all the names of the people on the wall … gave me a sense of unity. I’m not the only one who’s interested in our past.’ It was much more than that, though. She felt the names were a way of saying, ‘I was here, I saw this, I recognize this.’ It’s an acknowledgement, she said, that the persecution that was going on is still remembered.”
It’s worth noting that Emily was surprised by her reaction to the graffiti. Why? Because she knew what her response should be to graffiti; all of our students were aware that adding to the graffiti would be a big mistake and a poor choice. Yet Emily was honest about what it felt like to know, in an immediate sense, that others were still coming to see the site of so much pain and suffering centuries ago. Her take on it may not be yours, but it had a redemptive quality I wasn’t eager to censor.
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