10 Jan Clarification on the proposed Reconstruction Era Monument
During the many conversations about the proposed monument for Beaufort, some have suggested that we are doing the National Park Service a favor by letting them create a national monument which is almost equivalent to a national park in Beaufort County. That is not the case.
When we started on this mission the Park Service was cool to the idea because the effort to do this was shot down 16 years ago. Furthermore, their staff was fully occupied working through two other monuments that were ahead of us in the queue. The being said, they indicated that if we could demonstrate strong community support they would try to squeeze Beaufort into the mix of final actions by the President.
Thanks to the more than 1,500 people who signed the petition generated by Councilman Stephen Murray and the 160 plus signatures on letters from local governments and cultural organizations, national associations of historians and preservations from throughout the country, their head were turned and they agreed to visit Beaufort to test the public sentiment. To their surprise, the church where the public hearing was held was standing room only with some left outside because there was not enough room and not one person made a negative comment while the many who had an opportunity to talk spoke passionately about the need to reopen this yet to be written chapter of American History.
As of this week, the Park Service is working very seriously to “package” the monument for the President’s review and a declaration we hope will follow.
Thank you Beaufort for standing up for what you believe is right. Monument or no monument (which remains a possibility) we are stronger and will one way or another continue our strong support for telling our unique and important story.