Welcome to FortMonroeNationalPark.org
Advocating a UNIFIED national monument or park to transform the split one at Fort Monroe, Virginia—the site of what the Civil War historian Edward Ayers once called “the greatest moment in American history.”**Please see the final paragraph in a June 2011 Chronicle of Higher Education profile.
Fort Monroe, Virginia, looks across the lower Chesapeake Bay, over Hampton Roads harbor, deep into four centuries of America's past, and -- if America makes sensible post-Army use of it -- far into the coming centuries. A National Park Service map uses light green to indicate the two parts of the split national monument recently established there. But if it’s true that Fort Monroe saw American history’s greatest moment, that bifurcation is self-evidently preposterous. It’s like marring Monticello with hillside development. Here, red has been added to show the sense-of-place-defining bayfront space that needs to be incorporated into the national monument to transform it from fake to real. [more]
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Though a charade of “public input” continues in Virginia, Fort Monroe’s fate—a “degraded” and “squandered” one, to apply the crucial words from the Virginian-Pilot editorials cited below—is all but cemented now. The only chance to save Fort Monroe’s sense of place, the only chance to see a unified national monument or park, is national attention. If you want to help, please identify reporters and editors in the national media who might care about American history (or about unwise low-lying coastal construction, or about the appalling power of Big Money in politics), and please ask those journalists to have a look at Fort Monroe’s situation. Thanks.
NEW: Henry Louis Gates Jr. tells why Fort Monroe’s 1861 special moment in American history matters so much. (Join a vigorous online discussion there.)
Read a lengthy but highly informative online back-and-forth discussion beneath a March 2013 article in National Parks Traveler.
Read the May 22, 2013, op-ed “Fort Monroe self-emancipators’ courageous act changed the world.”
FROM THE POLITICAL RIGHT: See a brief video clip in which former Virginia Delegate Tom Gear -- commended for seven years of Fort Monroe political leadership by Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park -- argues passionately for making the "phony" national park real by unifying its two separated parts.
FROM THE POLITICAL LEFT: Virginian-Pilot editorials have called for unifying the split national monument by including the missing bayfront land, in order to avoid Fort Monroe’s being permanently “degraded” -- and because to do otherwise would mean “a national treasure will be squandered.” (See “The next step at Fort Monroe,” “Fix the plan for Fort Monroe,” “Governor should protect Wherry” and “Make Fort Monroe a state priority.”)
FROM THE NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION: "Protect Fort Monroe National Monument's Historic Character." (Excerpt: "The proposed development would separate the two parts of the park, undermine the park’s historic character, and limit public access. We can't let this happen.")
Read a Virginian-Pilot op-ed telling why May 23, 1861 -- not May 24 -- started “the greatest moment in American history.”
Why the map’s red area is so important: Think Outside the Moat
Three-minute YouTube tour: Cherish Fort Monroe
Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed from August 2011
Queries, comments, expressions of willingness to help by speaking out: SaveFortMonroe [[[at]]] gmail.com
Note as of summer 2014: This Web site presents the overwhelming, nearly unanimous view of almost everybody who has followed the decade-long process of determining this national treasure’s post-Army fate: we believe that the split national monument must be unified. The Web site began as, and still holds the URL of, CitizensForAFortMonroeNationalPark.org, but the politics of Fort Monroe advocacy changed everything in early 2011. [more]
Page maintained by FortMonroeNationalPark.org7 July, 2014