First Place, Junior Essay Contest 2010

Todd Slunt, 6th Grade

Teacher:  Jeffrey Clowes
School:  Ni River Middle School: Spotsylvania, VA

"Take Action: Save Civil War Battlefields"

The history of a hundred years ago is more important than any strip mall or housing development. I believe that preserving Civil War battlefields is important because those pieces of land are the places where men shed blood for their country. These battlefields are also what make us proud to be American because they show the fight we went through for freedom. The soldiers who fought on these battlefields would be proud to see that they are honored for their sacrifices. Another thought is if you build a mall on a battlefield, you just destroyed part of the war that divided our country and then united us in freedom.

To preserve the battlefields we need to take action. There are so many ways we can help preserve our battlefields. A very easy one is Park Day. I participate in the Wilderness Park Day every year and what you do is walk around and pick up the trash that is on the battlefield. Another way we could help is by starting a donation to raise money to help preserve a battlefield. With the money you raise you could build monuments or preserve houses from that era, such as Ellwood. Or you could just donate to a battlefield or a group like the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield (FOWB) and the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT). When you donate to the CWPT that money goes to buying the land that battlefields are on and making your visit to battlefields better. When you donate to a battlefield or pick up trash you just made a big difference in the fight to save battlefields. When we protect battlefields we have just made future generations able to enjoy the beauty of the lands where men fought for their country's freedom. 

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