Save the Wilderness! Stop Walmart!

Save Wilderness Battlefield!

Wilderness Battlefield. Photo credit: The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Did you receive the email from the National Trust yesterday or today asking you to sign the petition to urge Senator Webb and Senator Warner to do their part and help to protect the Wilderness Battlefield?

If not, this is the email:

We need your help TODAY to turn the tide in our favor in the fight against Walmart to save our hallowed Civil War battleground. Sign our petition to US Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner NOW urging them to ask Walmart to relocate away from historic Wilderness Battlefield.

Time is running out.

We have been fighting for years to protect the hallowed ground of Wilderness, but with a court trial to decide major issues in the case starting on January 25th – just [6] days from today – we are at a critical juncture.

United States Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner are champions of historic preservation and their leadership in support of Wilderness Battlefield could make the difference in finding a win-win solution.

Construction of a Walmart store, within the boundaries of Wilderness Battlefield and just across the road from Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park in Orange County, Virginia, would irrevocably harm the battlefield, degrade the visitor’s experience of the National Park, and open the flood gates for large-scale commercial development.

Please sign our petition to Senators Webb and Warner TODAY as we urge them to ask Walmart to relocate its Superstore to an alternative site away from the battlefield – one that still meets their business needs but is more respectful of our Civil War history.

With your help, we can win the fight to save an important part of America’s heritage.

Thank you for your support.

SIGN THE PETITION if you care about history. It requires less than one minute of your time.

Do you need to catch up on this issue, perhaps beyond the email? In brief, The National Trust is fighting as hard as they can. Some helpful blog posts, if you’ve missed them, are: Why We’re Fighting and Our American Heritage Will Suffer. Here is some additional information about the fight. Here is a summary of the testimony given by historian James McPherson, an advocate for saving the battlefield.

The story may sound familiar: Walmart refuses to despite the fact that there are countless other locations, even viable locations in the same region which would gladly take new development. However, this fight is more important than most other big box fights: by not compromising or understanding the importance of  Wilderness Battlefield (one of the most important Civil War battlefields), Walmart is ignoring the value of history of the people and the nation, which includes many of their customers.

It’s a modern form of battle, and we are responsible for preserving the heritage of those who fought for the future – for our existence. Show you care. Sign the petition. Like many cultural resources, battlefields cannot be recreated and the surrounding environment is critical to their understanding. In addition, saving battlefields goes further, with an effect of saving communities.

Now is not the time to give in to Walmart. Keep voicing your opinion. Why should a corporation have the right to erase history? Make them move. Make them choose another location. The fact that this fight is still going on and we even have to fight so hard to protect such an important resource shows the lack of respect that Walmart has historic preservation and heritage.

To see more photographs of Wilderness Battlefield, check out The National Trust’s photo set on Flickr.