18 Nov Tick Tock, Tick Tock… We are running against the Clock to Get The Reconstruction Era Monument
As we approach the end of the Presidential Administration, the clock is ticking and the National Park Service must move quickly to package the Reconstruction Era Monument in Beaufort County. There are thirty Civil War monuments in the National Park system, yet there is not one that remembers a very important piece of American history unique to Beaufort County.
After a two year study, the Park Service, key officials within the Department of the Interior and the While House acknowledge that Beaufort County is the most appropriate place for a National Reconstruction Era Monument and that is should be established. Penn Center, Brick Church, the Town of Port Royal and the City of Beaufort, with supporting resolutions from Beaufort County Council and each of our municipalities, under the leadership of Congressman Jim Clyburn, supported by Congressman Mark Sanford, and the Conservation Land Foundation have assembled a package for a multi-sited monument. More than thirty local, regional and national preservation and historical associations have endorsed the project and most if not all of the most prominent historians of the period have weighed in strong support. More significant endorsements are coming.
Using the Antiquities Act requires the government own the land. Private parties are poised to donate properties deemed most appropriate. The paperwork for land transfers to the Park Service and required environmental assessments of each property have been submitted for review by the National Park Service as is requited before sending the proposal to the Secretary of the Interior and finally to the White House.
It appears the Park Service regional office in Atlanta has two other monument proposals to package before the Reconstruction Era Monument gets their full attention. It also appears that the holidays are upon us, government workers will be away from their desks where our package lies. Meanwhile . ..
The clock is ticking. Please sign the petition telling the Secretary of the Interior how important this is to Beaufort, to the nation and the world. The blank pages of our history must be filled in and the Monument is the best way to open the door to understanding what Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt said in 2000,”reconstruction In Beaufort County was the Beginning of a new America.”
If the review is not completed, the package will not be submitted to the Secretary of the Interior. If the Secretary does not receive and have time to review, it will not be passed on to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. If the Council does not get the package, it will not get to the President.
The wheels of government move slowly. If our government does not move forward with haste, the monument will not be established and the country will again turn its back on this important untold story.
Please sign the petition and share it with anyone and everyone you know. By opening this door to history, we will have made history. And history is so much about what Beaufort County is about.