Letter: Do changes to historic markers serve the community? 

December 15, 2023

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission’s debatable, some may even say baseless, proposal to tamper with our town’s historic markers and the Select Board’s swift decision to remove these markers have opened Concord’s gates to cancel culture. Members of the DEI Commission and the Select Board lacked the necessary subject-matter expertise to tamper with these century-old signs and failed to follow due process, raising questions about their commitment to serving the community. 

Historic Districts Commission member Dennis Fiori dismissed the significance of the markers, asserting citizens rarely notice them. However, the community’s outcry and numerous protest letters contradict his stance. It is evident that these markers hold value for residents.They certainly do for me and many others. 

DEI Co-Chair Joe Palumbo’s assertion that the term “Indian” is offensive contradicts the National Museum of the American Indian | Smithsonian, which deems “American Indian,” “Indian,” “Native American,” or “Native” as acceptable and interchangeable in the United States. I wonder if Mr. Palumbo finds the name of the museum offensive as well.  

These markers were made over 100 years ago — exactly what are we trying to teach our children by removing them now? The rush to erase these markers, rooted in historical significance, raises questions about the wisdom of attempting to revise or erase history. To quote the great Michael Scott — where does it stop?  

Ultimately, if the removal of these markers represents the pinnacle of value that the DEI Commission can contribute to Concord residents, it may be time to reconsider its existence. The apparent lack of genuine issues indicates a need for reassessment.  

George Stepanian 

Shaw Farm Road