Welcome to FortMonroeNationalPark.org
Advocating a UNIFIED national monument or park to replace the fake one at Fort Monroe, Virginia -- the site of the greatest moment in American history.**Please see the final paragraph in a June 2011 Chronicle of Higher Education profile of the historian Edward L. Ayers.
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” one, to use the crucial word from the Virginian-Pilot editorial 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. Please mention this Web site, and if you use e-mail, please cc SaveFortMonroe [[[at]]] gmail.com. Thanks.
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 -- recently 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: A Virginian-Pilot editorial has called for unifying the split national monument by including the missing bayfront land, in order to avoid Fort Monroe’s being permanently “degraded.” (See also the newer editorials "Fix the plan for Fort Monroe" and “Governor should protect Wherry.”)
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: This Web site evolved from the former site of Citizens (with a capital C) for a Fort Monroe National Park -- a self-appointed, no-public-membership grassroots committee of about a dozen that I co-founded in 2006, my second year in the struggle to save Fort Monroe. With wonderful, hands-on technical leadership -- pro bono for six years now -- from the IT engineer David Gurganus, I also created, managed and controlled CFMNP’s Web site. (CFMNP now uses FortMonroeCitizens.org.) For various reasons -- and even though this public issue concerns a national treasure rather than the flawed but well-intentioned humans who are dedicated, in various ways, to defining its future -- the time has come to report publicly at least some of how and why things changed with CFMNP. [more]
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Revised: 1 November, 2013