Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Randy: What Has Become of Us

I want to take a second to move away from what I typically do here and speak to you personally, US citizen to US citizen. When I write a blog entry, I usually take great care to try and post something that I feel is worthy of your time. I write something, set it aside, re-read it and write some more, set it aside again, and so on...until I'm satisfied. But tonight, I can't do that.

I received a very simple e-mail just about an hour ago. It said "Hi. I have a question. What is going to happen at Gettysburg? Are they building the casino or not? I certainly hope that the answer is no."

Now I have written perhaps 10 articles against the proposed casino. I have researched the dangers a casino represents to the Battlefield. I have spoken to many who are in opposition and some who are not. I have posted the e-mail addresses of those who will impact or make the decision to allow the casino, asking that people write to voice their opposition. I have testified at one of the hearings against the casino. I have written several times to the Governor, the Gaming Control Board, and my local representatives. I have posted on other blogs and discussion groups. But tonight, when I read this e-mail, I didn't know what to say. So instead, I e-mailed a good friend and expressed my exasperation. After venting to him, I re-read my e-mail and knew that what I wrote would be my answer to the young lady who e-mailed me. It wasn't eloquent. I didn't take my time making sure that I expressed myself exactly as I wanted. I just wrote.

I said to my friend, "Gettysburg is a good thing. It’s a symbol of what we were and could yet again become, in both a negative and positive aspect. Most importantly though, tens of thousands bled there to make our country what it is. What else need be said? Tens of thousands."

I can’t tell you of my frustration when I think that this casino may see the light of day and the battlefield where our ancestors fought will be forever scarred. If we can forget the men who shaped our country like very few others have, what does that say of us? Damn it what has become of us?



Randy is the creator of a rather extensive Civil War website: Brothers War, A Civil War blog: The Battle of Gettysburg & The American Civil War, and a Civil War battlefield photoblog: Civil War Photos. Randy's photography of Civil War sites, and his knowledge of the Civil war are well known. He has collaborated on film and photographic projects on the Civil War.