For Immediate Release: 03/04/10
Washington State Congressman Honored for Efforts to Preserve Civil War Battlefields
U.S. Representative Norm Dicks receives lifetime achievement award from Civil War Preservation Trust
(Washington, D.C.) – During a ceremony yesterday on Capitol Hill, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) honored Evergreen State Congressman Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) with its Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation Award, recognizing his outstanding commitment to protecting America’s vanishing past. The award was conferred by CWPT president James Lighthizer during an evening reception on Capitol Hill. The event also marked the debut of an exhibit of Civil War-era photography created by CWPT, the Center for Civil War Photography and The History Channel.
As a long-serving member of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Dicks has a strong record working on behalf of public lands, including support for Civil War battlefield preservation. Since Dicks became chair of the Subcommittee during the 110th Congress, he has been a strong advocate for the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program, the primary federal program for protecting battlefield land in the United States.
“The protection of America’s most significant landscapes — both those marked by historic events and those blessed with tremendous natural beauty — is one of my great passions,” said Dicks. “I believe it’s important for all Americans to appreciate the historical locations where the bloody battles of the Civil War took place because of how these events shaped the course of our nation’s history.”
Rep. Dicks also serves on the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, further deepening his conviction that the sacrifices of America’s military should be appropriately commemorated. Thanks in part to his leadership and support, the federal Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program has been used to save more than 15,000 acres of hallowed ground in 14 states. Under his leadership, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee appropriated $9 million in fiscal year 2010 toward the effort, the largest single-year allocation in the program’s history.
“Without the help of this distinguished gentleman, the work that we do would simply not be possible,” said CWPT President James Lighthizer. “Chairman Dicks’s commitment to the cause of preservation and his leadership in the halls of Congress have been pivotal to the successes of this organization.”
Last month it was announced that with the passing of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), Dicks will be leaving the Interior Subcommittee to assume the gavel as chair of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, making the timing of the recognition particularly appropriate.
“Throughout his tenure, Rep. Dicks has been a great friend to historic preservation, championing a variety of successful programs across the nation,” said Lighthizer. “Even though he will no longer be chairman of the Interior Subcommittee, I am confident that his passion for safeguarding the physical reminders of America’s past will persist for as long as he continues in public service.”
Each year CWPT presents awards to individuals, groups and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the cause of battlefield preservation. Lifetime achievement awards, however, are given less frequently and only to individuals whose efforts have been truly Herculean. Past recipients of the Civil War Preservation Trust Lifetime Achievement Award in Historic Preservation include National Park Service Chief Historian emeritus Edwin C. Bearss and former Secretary of the Interior Manual J. Lujan.
With 55,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. CWPT has preserved more than 29,000 acres of battlefield land across the nation. CWPT’s website is www.civilwar.org.