Saturday, February 23, 2013

Repurposing the Soldier's Home in Virginia?

I received this disturbing information via messenger from Bobby Edwards.
Connie, I spent an hour or so on the phone with our Lee-Jackson Camp SCV Commander yesterday, and he has alerted me of a problem that I know is coming - the Remodeling of the Soldiers' Home for business use by the VMFA instead of Historical use by the Commonwealth of Va. The appropriation for two and 1/2 million has been included in a House and Senate version, and will go to the Governor's office for his review and possible amendments.

We failed to get the legislators to make the grounds a historic landmark, and now the Governor is the one who may have some impact. Although he did not issue a Confederate History month in April, the possibility that he may still name the Soldiers' Home building a Historic attraction and use it in the Commonwealth's promotional efforts to draw visitors in the remaining Sesquicentennial. I am trying to form at a minimum - a letter writing campaign to the Governor for him to treat the Soldiers' Home, with the proper historiography that it deserves. Thanks for any help you may be able to provide.

It's a shame that Richmond fails to promote or advantage themselves of their rich history, and especially since the history of the Soldiers' Home is also the history of many Union Veterans, who contributed so freely to make the Soldiers' Home possible, and met the Confederates on the grounds to bind up the wounds of the Country. Ours is a compelling story of reunification that needs to be told to the Country. We are a National Story.

By identifying the grounds as "National Reunification" - the Confederate Battle Flag, and the current American Flag could be included in a display of flags at the Soldiers' Home - And, as a Welcome Center telling our story would be a powerful story for Virginia.

Bobby Edwards
Lt. Commander, Lee-Jackson Camp No. 1
 Let's all join the letter campaign to Governor Bob McDonnell.  A contact form can be found on the Governor's official website, here:

You can also mail him via the US Postal Service at this address, or call/fax his office at the following numbers:
Mailing Address:
Office of the Governor
Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
view directions to the office...
Phone Numbers:
Office: (804) 786-2211
Fax: (804) 371-6351
TTY/TDD (For the deaf or hard-of-hearing):
1-800-828-1120, or 711

We know the VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts) is not friendly to Confederate heritage. If left in their hands, the Soldier's Home will be stripped of its history and who knows what purpose they'll put it to.  

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