The preservation of history is an endeavor no less important to the future of this nation than the preservation of life itself. History defines and documents the very character of our country. It portrays our greatest social and technological triumphs as well as reminds us of our failures so that they may not be repeated. Most important, history absolutely points out to us the true source of America's greatness; the ideals, the inventions, the courage, the ethics, the morality of men and women living in our atmosphere of freedom.
This country will continue to prosper only as it recognizes and builds upon the lessons of its own history. Economic vitality, quality of life, and social justice are all a product of our history and are sustained as we understand the past and its relationship to our future. History may be a compilation of words, objects, and processes; but it translates into the human character traits of strength, courage, creativity, perseverance, morality, and the ability to achieve greatness. America’s greatest era still lies ahead for future generations, but the road to that future can be found only by reading the map of our past…our history.