In reading this story about the recently located Union soldier at Antietam (aka Sharpsburg), my thoughts drifted to the Wilderness and the situation with the Wal-Mart site that might go there.
Just think about it… it will be such a thrilling day, and think about all that revenue generated for Orange County! $500,000 annually, right! Hot dog!
I can picture it now, the shovel strikes the ground… and in the little bit of dirt that comes up, there is a tooth. “Ah, it’s probably just some dead animal.” And the tooth gets tossed aside. Or better yet, the ensuing massive dig at the site takes place in the standard bulldozer fashion and bits and pieces of Civil War dead that may be present there are cast aside in mounds that are shipped by dump trucks to the local landfill or fill-dirt site.
Nope, no archaelogical significance to the site! Probably not even the potential for significance, at least according to a study conducted by… those interested in seeing the site go in there. Just the potential for Civil War dead; but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what might be left of the dead. Their sacrifices were made in the past. It doesn’t matter that those that might be buried there were AMERICAN SOLDIERS. The past is the past (another indication of the disregard for the significance of history). We should look to the future and push aside any respect that we might have for the dead, especially the remains of AMERICAN SOLDIERS.
Maybe dead are in the lot of land destined for the new Wally World, or maybe not; but what care will be taken to make sure that, if any are remains there, they will be given proper attention… and respect. With the apparent lack of concern indicated in the “no archeaological significance” report, it sounds like the bulldozers will be tearing the ground with no regard… even for possibilities.
Bottom line… what’s the difference of a location so close to the battlefield and the proposed alternative? In short… A LOT! … and Orange County can still land just as much revenue at the other site. It’s a no-brainer. Deal with it, and respect not only the dead, but the fact that those who go to the battlefields are also a source of county revenue.
Gee, that makes me think some more. I wonder what the Wilderness will look like in 2014, on the 150th anniversary of the battle. Ooops, did the county also forget about the potential revenue made from the Sesquicentennial? Could be a win-win… battlefield is respected, Wal-Mart goes to the other proposed site… money continues to flow from both sources of revenue… like I said, a no-brainer.