12/1: Revised to correct status of selection committee.
I recently toured the Pantheon, the Parisian tribute to great French leaders (yes, I realize that “great French leaders” is a bit of an oxymoron, but stay with me here I’m making a point). It was, despite my distinctively American bias, extremely impressive. Entombed there are Frenchmen who made significant contributions to not just their country, but all humanity – Voltaire, Rousseau, the Curies and Victor Hugo, to name a few.
The tour triggered a childhood memory of my reading about an American Hall of Fame in our old World Book encyclopedia, so, when I returned, I looked it up, using 21st century Google technology this time. It turns out that the American equivalent to the Pantheon, if you even want to call it an “equivalent,” hasn’t been updated since I read about it as a child. Indeed, it now tragically dishonors the 102 great Americans memorialized there. And it’s time to do something about it.