History matters. It teaches us about our past. It records our victories as well as our defeats. It tells us what worked and what did not; how to survive, grow, change and develop. It gives us a chance for a richer and more meaningful future. History is always happening.

At a time in our history when the world is riddled with divisiveness and hatred, I am hopeful that our selectmen here in Oak Bluffs will help us to grow and change for the better; that they will state emphatically to the world that respect and love are what brings a community together.

The request made by the NAACP of Martha’s Vineyard to move the plaques that were placed on the Civil War statue almost a century ago, and to place them in the MV Museum is not, in my opinion, about disrespect for our veterans. It is a way for us to show our love, respect and support for our friends and neighbors here in Oak Bluffs and to further record this historic measure for all to witness as an example of positive change going forward.

Renee Balter

Oak Bluffs