recently I took a tour with other military veterans through the Penn Museum, just across from Franklin Field on South Street. (https://www.penn.museum/) We toured through exhibits of the various ancient civilizations-Egyptian, Babylonia, and Sumerian- ending up a the Ancient Rome exhibit, where the guide introduced us to the Roman custom of damnacio memoriae, “damnation of memory-” the cursing of the name of someone who brought same, terror, or disgrace to the nation, such as the maniacal emperors Nero and Caligula; or others, like Lucius Aelius Sejanus, who, as commander of the Praetorian Guard, tried to usurp the throne from the Emperor Tiberias in 31 CE. (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Lucius-Aelius-Sejanus) In that custom, all of the statues of that person would be torn down, and their names would be chipped off of public monuments, Thereby erasing his name from public memory, as if they never existed. It was a sort of final insult to someone who brought pain and suffering to the community.
That is what I see happening to the buildings bearing donald whatshisface’s name-the various hotels, casinos, and apartment complexes he didn’t build but he leased them their name. Supposedly, his name was a guarantee of quality and luxury. Now, it’s the name of a traitor who tried to destroy our democracy, with a minority of violent maniacs, in the January 6 rampage that tried to overturn the results of a free and fair election; and his name has been torn down from many of the buildings that had it (https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2019/10/23/heres-every-trump-property-thats-dropped-his-name/?sh=5c8926b03571) ; and I enjoyed seeing the implosion of the trump Plaza in Atlantic City.(https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2021/11/25/smash-and-grab-robberies-retail-store-newday-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/stories-worth-watching/)
We must never forget the real story of the events of January 6, no matter how the republicans try to revise it; but the parallels to what’s happening to the trump brand, and the Roman practice of damnacio memoriae, are just TOO close to ignore.
(Fun fact: the Penn Museum is free to veterans who show their veteran’s card, it’s their “thank you” for our service.)