Al Roker on Historic Preservation
Excerpts from an interview with Al Roker about why historic preservation is important.
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Why is historic preservation important to you?
"In any society, any culture, if you don't' know where you've been you really can't see where you're going. I think to be able to get a sense of how people lived, how people existed, where they lived, is really important. If you go to say, any place from Colonial Williamsburg ... to any small home in and around America you get a sense of where we've come from and how people lived and what they did and why they did it.
"I think historic preservation is one of the most important things because we're living in such a disposable society. We throw everything away. If it's old, get rid of it. And I think from our historic places to historic faces in this country, we need to make sure they're around as long as possible."
Are there any places or historic sites that hold an emotional attachment for you?
"Well my father's family is from the Bahamas, and we went back there to the island he's from and the slave quarters are still standing. They've preserved them. And I think it's a real testament to what the human spirit can overcome.
"I took my daughter, who was at the time about 12, down there and I think the power of what those slave quarters meant washed over her. I think when people see things they're connected to, whether it's a picture or a home or a place, I think it's a real powerful reminder of where you've come from."
What would you like people to take away from the Restore America: A Salute to Preservation initiative?
"People just need to know that there are historic places, and they don't necessarily have to be Williamsburg or Monticello. They can be places in your own town where the town charter was first signed, or where somebody decided to take a stand for something. There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of examples of little places that meant big things to different places around the country. People need to visit those because it's living history. They can see it, they can smell it, they can look around it, they can walk through it, which is pretty cool."
Excerpts from an interview with Bryant Gumbel on why historic preservation is important.