These are the times that try men’s souls.

Lovers of history and American patriots are in mourning.

Everything has become political, everything.

As history lovers, my family has visited hundreds of historic sites - from buildings to battlefields; museums to monuments, gardens to graveyards.

One thing that causes us to pause and be solemn is when we get to stand where someone in history stood, sit where they sat, or hold something they held, no matter how insignificant.

It could be a pen, a button, a hat, a pipe, or a letter. Of course, some never came home and some lost everything and there is nothing to remember them by.

If you’ve ever been to Walmart founder Sam Walton’s first store on the square in Bentonville, there is a museum incorporated into the building.

There, along with the history of Walmart, is an exact replica of Sam Walton’s desk, just as he left it when he died. Books, papers, pens and ledgers are all there. People love seeing that.

His beloved old pickup truck, complete with gun rack and hunting gear is a major attraction. I’m sure I’m not the only one that looks at it and tries to imagine Sam riding along with his favorite dog Roy.

When you touch the seat or the steering wheel knowing that Sam Walton - a man of meager means who went on to own the largest department store chain in the world - had his hands on the same wheel.

No matter if that person is George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Geronimo, Sam Walton, a slave or a soldier, or your great-grandmother, some of those personal things or places we can step, are the greatest connection for those of us who remain and who appreciate who they were when they walked the earth, in the flesh.

Living and breathing, loving their families, feeling happiness or pain, just like you and I.

I’m not sure what makes one person long to appreciate these people, their lives, and the desire to want to know more about what they did, what they thought and what they touched, and another person that couldn’t care less.

I have my theories.

What I do know is slowly but surely those opportunities to remember some of these people and the imprint they had on our lives are being lost… or rather taken, by that group of people who couldn’t care less.

And that theory I have? They know more about Hollywood, sports, music, food, fashion, social media and just plain having a good time than they know about how all of that became so freely available to them.

I’ve been doing my own polling lately so I could make good on my theory.

I’ve been asking people about history. Government leaders, teachers, school board members, college students, church leaders and even journalists, and I have found that many are unable to answer even basic questions about American history or even local history, for that matter.

These are the people that are making decisions that impact whether or not our children will get to look around one day and see history in their backyard, see patriotism in their schools, and God acknowledged as the creator, as our Declaration of Independence states.

There are some fine, well-educated, patriotic, God-fearing, common sense people in our midst, in our communities, which gives me hope.

But, what is discouraging is there are way too many people in our country who only know what they want to know, what they have set in their mind by the masses, and there’s no teaching them.

You know who you are.

Cheryl Franklin is the publisher of the Grove Sun as well as the Miami News-Record, Delaware County Journal and Cherokee County News-Advocate. She is not surprised that only six people attended Thomas Paine’s funeral.

Cheryl Franklin is the regional publisher for the Grove Sun, Delaware County Journal, Miami News Record and Cherokee County News Advocate. She is not surprised only six people attended Thomas Paine's funeral.

She can be reached at 918-786-2228 or