Tom Hanks knows how the world views him - that steady, dependable force. There to calm us, and to give us the hope we need.
Which is exactly what he offered when he spoke at the National Archives Foundation, honoured with the "Records of Achievement Award" at their annual gala in Washington.
"People are upset about what's going on today. They're furious, they're frustrated, they're worked up," Hanks said (via CNN). "If you're concerned about what's going on today, read history and figure out what to do because it's all right there."
"As we continually move towards a more perfect union," he stated. "That magnificent document (the US Constitution) out there, that might be the only self-correcting, open-ended document anywhere on the planet Earth (that) keeps us going, that keeps saying that we're going to learn how to do that one thing we've already sort of done, we're going to become better and better and better."
When asked about the issues surrounding the legacy of Confederate monuments and statues of Christopher Columbus, Hanks offered: "Let's have that discussion, let's have that be part and parcel to an ongoing reexamination about what is taught about [America's founding]."
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He did add that he didn't believe the dialogue necessarily needed to include destruction. "But the destruction, the destruction is anti-social, period, the end. Be intelligent, and be smart, write about it, bring it up, talk about it," he added.
The "Records of Achievement Award" is, according to a statement from the foundation, the "highest honor given by the National Archives Foundation to an individual whose work has fostered a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the United States through the use of original National Archives records."
"No actor has covered the span of 20th-century American history as broadly as honoree Tom Hanks," David Ferriero, archivist of the United States, said in the statement.
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