Comin’ through, comin’ through. . .

From Gettysburg, witness the distressing phenomenon of automobiles colliding with monuments.

Gettysburg Daily notes that in this particular instance, the road in question sees a lot of non-visitor traffic.  I’d imagine that most folks who are seeing the field from their car are moving pretty slowly, and you’d assume that anybody who managed to knock a stone marker perpendicular to its axis of placement would have to be moving along at a pretty good clip.

Then again, you’d be surprised what cars can do with relatively little brute force.  Here’s a statue of Lincoln that stands at the entrance to my alma mater.

Photo by Mark Persons at Waymarking.com

A friend of mine slid right into this thing while turning into campus on an icy morning.  He was driving a small sports car and wasn’t going particularly fast, but he still shoved both Abe and the solid base on which he stood off-kilter.  It took a crane to set the Great Emancipator back into position.  Several thousand John Wilkes Booth references later, we let him live this one down.

Anyway, this kind of vehicular monumentcide highlights one of the ironies of historic preservation.  By making sites accessible to visitors, we also expose these sites to the wear-and-tear or even outright damage those visitors might inflict.

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