Even with these hot summer months, the Rotary Club here in LaGrange is continuing their hard work and is still involved with several local organizations all dedicated to the goal of bettering the citizens of the community. After the recent national Rotary meeting in Atlanta, the group has returned home ready to dive into some new and exciting projects. At their meeting this past Wednesday, July 13th they welcomed a local man to speak on the history of LaGrange and one of its key players in history, Marquis de Lafayette.
Dr. Richard Ingram is a local doctor here at La-Grange Internal Medicine who has been practicing medicine for many, many years. Recently, Dr. Ingram has become very concerned with the history of La-Grange, especially with the fact that so many that live here do not know anything about Lafayette, the statue in the square, and the overall history of the community in which they live. Dr. Ingram began to lively and eloquently explain his position to the Rotary Club that afternoon. He told the story of how he would casually ask people around town, “who is the statue in the middle of the square?” Inevitably, most that he posed this question to did not know the answer. This was unacceptable to the good doctor and he exclaimed to the Rotarians in attendance that Lafayette truly matters.
Dr. Ingram spoke to the crowd about Lafayette’s life and how he viewed this great Country of America. At the age of 19 years old, Lafayette already knew that “the United States was a paragon of freedom” and claimed he loved the liberty that the nation provided. In 1777 he joined the Continental Army and after 50 plus days at sea, he landed on the shore of America, preparing to join the fight of freedom. He would go on to become a lieutenant general. In his later years, specifically in 1825, Lafayette and his wife visited the State of Georgia and remarked how similar the landscape was to that of his home estate in France. Thus, LaGrange was named, the main city that sits inside of Troup County.
As Dr. Ingram’s claims that Lafayette was an “apostle of liberty” and that he sacrificed of himself for the good of our nation, this means to the doctor that it is vital for the citizens in LaGrange and Troup County to remember its history. He wants to find a way to get others involved with their community and join the conversation about its history, spreading that knowledge for generations to come. With so much growth happening here, more growth than ever before, it is now more important than ever to remember our history and preserve it in this new community that we are creating. We must remember the past to build a better future.