From our Executive Director Nancy Easterling:
Yesterday, the world looked in horror as Notre Dame burned, and collectively our hearts grieved. We grieved not just for the loss of its beauty and its design, or even simply because of the age of the structure and the centuries it survived. We felt the loss to our core because of the lives that the structure represents - those who designed and built it in order to inspire the world, and the centuries of people who worshiped and visited there. Irreplaceable places have a real and lasting impact on us - they become part of our lives and help us establish a connection to our past while also creating a relevance to our lives today. We all hope that the up-welling of support for Notre Dame we are seeing across the globe can one day bring this place back to life, but for now we grieve.
While Sotterley is not as well as known as Notre Dame, for the past 14 years I have been honored to work at a site that is also both precious and irreplaceable. As with Notre Dame, the stories and lives it represents are the reason we strive to preserve it and share it with the world. It represents stories that are inspiring as well as those that are painful and difficult, but all aspects of these stories must be acknowledged and understood. At this moment, let each of us remember that losing the past is in fact losing part of ourselves, and that by collectively coming together to preserve the past, the irreplaceable, we will be in fact preserving ourselves.