|© T M Bierhalter|
Further on down the road was the historic marker retained by the department of natural resources. This place of bloodshed and of lives given to a cause greater than they is simply marked by a sign at the road, a simple covered signage with information on the battle and its significance to the town and surrounding area. The parking lot takes up approximately a fourth of the total area allocated to the memorial. What would the men who fought and died here think of such a memorial?
There are two other war memorials in Carthage, a Vietnam memorial park and the Memorial Hall built as a tribute to World War I soldiers. There is also a Civil War Museum just off the town square. A small tribute to the War among the States and the information within is not withstanding.
The first interstate highway route 66 passes right through Carthage, a museum to the highway is located in the Jasper County Courthouse. There is a Rt. 66 Drive In still in operation during the summer weekends.
Just outside the city is the world famous Precious Moments Chapel and museum. A loving tribute to the Almighty by artist Samuel J. Butcher where one can receive a guided tour of the chapel and view the massive fountains.
During my visit to Carthage I happened on Cedar Hill Cemetery, a historic cemetery just outside of town. One in three grave markers was damaged in some way. Many were off the ground stones or had sections missing or simply lying on the ground. All of the family plots were overrun by weeds and flowers in need of dividing. Although the cemetery had been mowed it desperately needed a weed whacker taken to it. Showing how little remembrance the descendants of pioneer families actually have. The cemetery is maintained by a nonprofit organization and there is a charge to be buried here. Many military personnel have been laid to rest within its grounds.
What Carthage shows historians, preservationists and the community within is that a society needs to remember the past in order to move forward into the future. The city would greatly benefit from a little more love and care on behalf of its citizens both present and past. In terms of economic revival and survival taking a little initiative would result in more tourism, more families relocating to the area and a boost to history itself.