By Jeri Love
We live in a technology driven society built upon the great minds, trials and errors and histories of the human race. We have everything; there is little left to want.
But with all that we have there is one great shortcoming! For every advancement, every ease, every single aspect of our lives moving forward, we travel further from our humble beginnings and much is lost to the hustle and bustle of progress.
Unlike the mechanisms that drive us forward, we have real history, a hard-fought history that demands an emotional and mental awareness from its benefactors. An awareness derived from gratitude for all things, ideas, peoples and places that have brought us to this great state of enlightenment. The very enlightenment that drives us further from clear understanding and knowledge of how truly great we are and have become because of our history.
When the heart stops beating, and the body fails, the mind's memory, stories and loves are lost forever. We cannot reboot, restore or replace what is lost. That is why a historical society and active members are imperative;. it is our duty to preserve and honor the monuments, buildings, memories and papers that testify to the continuum of our town, our community, our people and our nation for the generations to follow.
Herodotus, Ptolemy I, Theodore Roosevelt, and Christopher Browning had an extraordinary vision and a capacity for detail and perspective. For all their wisdom, their highest achievement is so memorable that we are forever in their debt. They wrote things down; they did not leave history to be lost forever. Without their writings we would have no permanent record of events. Oral histories have built traditions, maintained legends and kept close the lives of our ancestors with much fondness, but too much room for error and exaggerations.
We must capture history and commit it to paper, protect structures that speak loudly of days past and retain documents in a manner that they may never be damaged. It is not too late to start preserving town history, or to form a historical society that does so with integrity, strength and iron will. Decades and centuries from now, our successors will want to know what life in Ayer was like, what buildings were lost, the politics of our time, the schools and the religions and the struggles we as a community faced, overcame or succumbed to. They will want to know because these will become foundations on which the next generations will build upon and will look to. The Ayer Historical society will not disappoint them; instead we will lay the blueprint.
Already we have historical Main Street, we have the writings of Barry E. Schwarzel and our town Library, graciously funded by Dr. James C. Ayer, and most importantly we have the Ayer Historical Society. This will be a great journey for the members of the historical society and commission for the people of Ayer.
Our mission is clear; it is concrete as the revolutionaries of old: to preserve, to protect and to never forget, to continuously seek betterment and to grow on the wisdom of our history and to have a jolly time saving the memories of the great Town of Ayer!
We want to be inclusive because we know there are many readers who share our passion. We have a sign-up sheet for your convenience. So come join us, on a treasure hunt if you may. There are untold riches to discover in the documents and in the relics forgotten in attics and basements, in the buildings we preserve, and from the minds of those who join us to share a past we do not remember.
Come, be the sturdy kind of tree that doesn't mind the snow, the tree that stands the times for others to see! Grow, learn and shelter the History of Ayer with us.
Please contact Ruth Rhonemus for dates, location and times of meetings at 978-772-8220.