I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to read about Journey Through Hallowed Ground’s plan to plant a tree for every fallen Civil War soldier. What a true commemoration–to nurture something living in honor of the dead, to truly keep memory alive in a respectful manner.
For a long while, I have said that if environmentalists and historic preservationists teamed up, the saving of Virginia’s resources would be doubled or tripled or countless. To see this happening makes me so happy on so many levels.
Historic and natural preservation have been in my heart, especially since I moved to the area in 1999. My first encounter with the glories of the area came when I was living in a townhouse in Manassas. Behind our subdivision ran (and runs) a path parallel to one at Bull Run Regional Park. The creek, on the left, divides the two paths, and there is a sizable buffer between homes and the path on the right. The result is a lovely trek through the woods that eventually leads to the Manassas Splashdown water park.
I soon learned of the Battlefields, where I wandered for hours and hours and have been wandering ever since. My reverence and enjoyment of the area grew.
So you can imagine my angst when I moved to Bristow, so close to Manassas, where “vinyl villages” were popping up everywhere. I had no idea that when we bought our townhouse back in December 2002 that Bristow and Gainesville were on their way to becoming major suburbs and not just neighbors to Manassas. I have griped, complained, whined and ranted ever since. I need my trees, I need my green, and I need people to understand that. I know I am not alone in my feelings.
Both my books celebrate the beauty of nature. Both books also contain themes of peaceful co-existence. Through writing, I have become ever more aware of my focus on both.
So, thank you, JTHG, and everyone who supports this project. It gives me hope that we may keep our history and our land alive.
WATERFORD, VA — Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton today joined the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, which created the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area and National Scenic Byway, to announce that the JTHG Partnership will receive $300,000 in grant money from the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) to design a Living Legacy Tree Planting program to honor those who died during the American Civil War.
“With the commemorations of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War beginning this year, these funds will allow the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership to help educate our citizens and visitors of the Commonwealth’s rich history as well as enhance the quality of life for all who call Virginia home.” said Connaughton. “When it comes to a public/private partnership, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground is the benchmark – a model that benefits communities throughout the Commonwealth, along this extraordinary National Scenic Byway, throughout this National Heritage Area, and even across the nation. The mayors, boards of supervisors, and community leaders – they all are to be commended for their forward thinking and commitment.”
The Living Legacy Project would plant one tree for every soldier who perished during the American Civil War, each serving as a living memorial to the 620,000 fallen soldiers, which amounted to 10 percent of the nation’s population at the time.