Here is a shorthand history of major walls built by mankind over recorded time — all built, we are sure, to keep good folks safe and the barbarians out. If there is evidence our Maker wants us to reason with each other instead of putting up walls and throwing rocks — and worse — over them, here it is.

Biblical Jericho? Crumbled at a blast of trumpets.

Hadrian’s Wall? Pict and Scot alike climbed over, walked around, and finally drove Rome out. Not too long after, Rome was toast.

In legendary — and very real — England (and across Europe and Asia), kings, barons, caliphs, pashas and emperors built castles and sturdy walls, boulder and brick and mud, alas temporal, and the remains entertain tourists today — where there are any to speak of.

Moving to modern China we have the Great Wall, much of it mended and a great background for tourist selfies. It did not stop the Mongols.

I neglected above two historically prominent walls: France’s Maginot Line and Hitler’s “impregnable” Western Wall. Both failures, thanks to will, reason and finally collaboration among the Western Allied forces.

All this can be checked out any day on the internet. But I bet it’s not on Fox News or Twitter.

 

John Holt Willey

Waterville


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