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02/15/2023 08:20 AM

Unified and Revitalized Our Community

As any informed resident of Old Saybrook knows, the history of this place we call home goes back well beyond 1635 and the immigrant occupiers who established a colony here. The Old Saybrook Historical Society’s website acknowledges that the peace-loving Algonquin Nehantic people lived and farmed in the area and had a village at Saybrook Point for long before Europeans arrived.

As residents of Old Saybrook, this is part of our collective history, based on evidence uncovered by archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians for whom I am grateful. This evidence-based history is something far from a personal philosophy — unless we are using the classical Greek definition of philosophy, meaning “love of wisdom.”

For the love of wisdom, or if you prefer, the wisdom of love, let’s open our minds and hearts to the full and inclusive celebration of our collective history. Let’s give thanks to the many artists, scholars, residents, businesses, and organizations who contributed to the process of creating murals in our community that celebrate our collective history.

These public art installations not only transform whitewashed walls and history into beautiful, meaningful public spaces that attract people who value all—not just colonial—history. I have also witnessed how these murals unified and revitalized our community with the spirit of creativity and collaboration it took to produce them in the first place.

I look forward to the thought-provoking discussions these murals will inspire for years to come and hopefully encourage us to expand our minds and hearts to encompass and celebrate the rich diversity and complexity of the world and society we live in.

Brian Gaidry

Old Saybrook