Campaign 150: Our Time, Our Legacy
A Message from Jim Lighthizer, Civil War Trust President
Abraham Lincoln once said about the Civil War, “The struggle of today is not altogether for today – it is for the future also.”
This statement serves as inspiration to all of us involved in historic preservation. Saving battlefields is not just about the past, it is about future generations of Americans, especially students, who must always know about the stories, events and legends that gave us our country.
We are indeed not just saving the past. We are saving for the future. At the end of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, we will say that we created complete Civil War parks that are understood, that are highly visited, and that are productive resources in the areas where they are located.
We are losing about 10,000 acres a year. If this pattern continues, by the end of the Sesquicentennial, the nation will have lost 50,000 irreplaceable acres. The stakes are high and the sense of urgency is real and palpable.
In addition, and the general public may be surprised to hear that only about 20% of America’s Civil War battlefield land is preserved. This Campaign, with a goal of preserving 20,000 additional acres, while not saving every piece of available land, will make a significant difference in completing a number of key battlefields. Again, this we must do with focus, passion and speed.
This issue of urgency is compounded by a generational reality. We may be the last generation with the means and opportunity to save Civil War battlefields. Both in terms of land that could be lost and the opportunity for our generation, there are critical issues at stake.
Everyone who participates in the Campaign will also have the opportunity to not only do something for American heritage, they will have the profound opportunity to leave a personal legacy. All of us want to be part of something that transcends the ordinary and to look back on our lives and say with justifiable pride that we have left a personal legacy for a noble and larger-than-life cause.
Your commitment will be a lasting gift for the nation.
We think saving Civil War battlefields is an extraordinary legacy opportunity.
Rightfully said, to save just one acre is not just the Civil War Trust’s legacy, it is your legacy as well. To save 20,000 acres is a monumental legacy.
The Sesquicentennial Campaign will be the Trust’s lasting gift for the nation. It will be the Trust’s legacy. And it will be your legacy.
Thank you for your generosity and your leadership.
Very sincerely yours,