To help ensure the long-term survival of our successful battlefield preservation efforts, please pick up the phone and call your electing officials in on Capitol Hill to make the case — in your own words — that you want them to support full funding in FY2015 for the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program.
I cannot stress to you how important your phone call is – it could be the one that helps secure literally millions of dollars in additional matching funds.
Key things to remember when you call:
* Always be respectful and professional. Even if you did not vote for the official, it is important to let them know your position on battlefield preservation in a courteous way.
* Give your name and the city or town you are calling from. This identifies you as a constituent of theirs.
* Understand that you will likely be speaking with a member of the Senator or Representative’s staff, not the elected official directly. This is perfectly acceptable, and your message of support will still be heard.
* Please thank the staff member for their time and consideration of our request. Congressional offices hear complaints all the time, and, just like anyone else, they feel rewarded when they are shown appreciation for their actions.
1. As our nation commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I would urge you to support full funding for the federal Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program administered by the National Park Service (NPS).
2. The battlefields already protected as a result of this program are among the most famous in history: Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Shiloh, Vicksburg and many more.
3. The program’s matching grants formula encourages investment from nonprofit groups and private donors like me.
4. The program enjoys broad bipartisan support, and has appeared in every Presidential budget since 2004 (under both Presidents Bush and Obama).
5. Preserved battlefields are living memorials – not just to the men in blue and gray who fought there – but to all American veterans who have honorably served their country in uniform.
6. Preserved battlefields also serve as outdoor classrooms, teaching young and old alike about the sacrifices made to preserve the freedoms we enjoy today. Battlefields also promote tourism, which creates jobs and economic benefits.
7. I recognize that these are difficult economic times and believe everyone should share in the belt-tightening. However, I wanted to make you aware of the program’s success.
8. I fear that any reduction to the program’s funding would cause battlefield preservation efforts around the country to grind to a halt. With time rapidly running out to save these hallowed grounds, full funding for the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program will enable us to protect as many key battlefield lands as possible in the limited time remaining.
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