Written by Frank Li
I began writing my last post (America: Love Our Soldiers, but Hate Our Wars!) with a serious question to myself: why is Memorial Day such a big deal in the U.S., especially when compared with China?
In my last post, I answered the question partially. This post will answer a bit more …
What is the most prominent monument in Beijing, China’s capital? It’s the Monument to the People’s Heroes, sitting in the middle of Tiananmen Square, as shown below.
What is the most prominent monument in Washington D.C., America’s capital? It’s the Washington Monument, as shown below.
Here is a simple comparison:
- China: In this country of dictatorship (without a dictator now), it has dedicated its most prominent landmark monument to a group of people, who contributed to the People’s Republic of China as “heroes”.
- America: In this country of democracy, it has dedicated its most prominent landmark monument to an individual, albeit the first American President.
A bit ironic, isn’t it?
Note that I am talking about the most prominent monument here, not any memorial halls on the side, such as the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall (Mausoleum of Mao Zedong) on the south side of Tiananmen Square, or the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial around the Washington Monument.
While a monument is largely symbolic, it may carry a more profound meaning for the country: its culture and perhaps even the essence of the country: people vs. the “kings”. Specifically, here are three questions for my fellow Americans:
- Was America built on strong leadership at the top?
- Is strong leadership needed to keep America going?
- Is strong leadership still there in the U.S. (American Presidents: Three Best and Three Worst), especially when compared with China (Correctly Assessing Chinese Leaders and American Presidents) or even Russia (Top 10 American Misconceptions about Russia)?
America must change, big time! While it’s debatable whether American democracy truly works, it’s not debatable that America is a republic, not monarchy! With that, do you still think it right to have “royal” families in America, such as the Bushes, the Kennedys, and even the Clintons?
With a clear “no” to any royal family in America, George Washington, as well as the other founding fathers, would sleep a lot better, guaranteed! It is also a better way to remember George Washington than any monument!
For more, read my book: “Saving America, Chinese Style“.
What about Beijing (and China)? It faces its own challenges, such as pollution, as shown below …
For more, read: America: What’s Really Going On in China?