W3R, Newsletter No. 63, February 16, 2009
Editor Hans DePold, Bolton Town Historian
Our goal is the creation and stewardship of the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail (W3RNHT) that passes through Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, and the elevation to a higher level the quality of heritage preservation all along the route. This newsletter tries to represent the point of view of the patriots who respected Washington and Rochambeau, the ones who, if alive, would be working with us to honor them
The Society of the Cincinnati accepts the greatest responsibility for preserving the ideals of Washington
While Lincoln said it was the duty of all of us to transmit Washington’s and our founders ideals unprofaned to the next generation, clearly no group can feel the weight of that responsibility more heavily than the Society of the Cincinatti who started as General Washington’s officers. They wept with Washington when he stepped down from authority to put the republic first and foremost. He created Society of the Cincinnati to return the republic to peace and to beat the swords into plow shears.
It falls on their shoulders to reason with national leaders and as Washington always did… ask congress when necessary for the funds needed to keep the nation’s spirit alive. The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail is one of the ways we preserve national historic as well as natural heritage in one fell swoop because preserving sites automatically preserves acres of natural beauty as it was three hundred years ago.
It falls largely on their shoulders to convince national leaders of the merits of heritage preservation as a way of preserving American culture, ideals, and liberty. While the rest of us are important support, Washington alone commissioned them with that duty and special honor.
Senator Coburn and others in the House mean well
They mean well and Senator Coburn and President Obama both say they oppose the inclusion of “earmarks” in legislation. Earmarks are irrelevant bills that are attached to popular large bills usually in hopes that nobody will notice them and they will pass into law.
But someone needs to explain to Senator Coburn and the others why giving St. Augustine $3 million for a celebration of their founding is neither pork nor profanity. It happens to be the celebration of the founding of America’s oldest city. Many Congressmen and Senators apparently do not realize that preserving American heritage is a partnership between private, local, state, and federal groups. It is impossible for most localities to preserve national heritage on their own but they each contribute what they can.
A case in point is Saratoga National Historic Park and Battlefield in Stillwater New York. As a teen I lived on the 500-acre farm on Route 4 on the bank of the Hudson River that was half in Stillwater and half in Schuylerville. I graduated from Stillwater Central High so I knew what was taught.
General Burgoyne marched down through that land, was stopped at the battlefield in Stillwater and then driven back up the Hudson again through our family farm to Schuylerville where he was surrounded and forced to surrender. It was that victory of the Continental Army that convinced the French that we could win our independence and that we were worth supporting.
At the time I lived there the Stillwater Central School faculty and the townspeople seemed to know nothing of this event when suddenly the National Park Service came in and began buying up the area farms at $100 an acre. Then they built a park and a visitor center to explain that part of our national history. They did a great job and they later also built a national cemetery on the back sand acres of what used to be our farm. My two veteran brothers got their wishes and are buried there on our former farmland.
The point I am making is that the states and the towns neither have the financial means or the knowledge to preserve national heritage. Unless the national government supports and celebrates national heritage in places like Stillwater and St. Augustine we will lose our heritage, our culture, our forefathers’ ideals, and eventually our concept of liberty. It is not a partisan pork barrel issue. Celebrating our heritage it is a most effective form of education to gain support needed to maintain our founding father’s ideals and our liberty. We must remember the founding fathers to be able keep their ideas alive.
This is an area where groups such as the DAR, SAR, and the Society of the Cincinnati are most credible and can be the invaluable resource we depend upon to garner the support of all patriotic legislators. Yes, it is profanity to attach pork to a good bill of importance to national heritage. But no, celebrating our national heritage is not pork when private, local, state, and federal organizations form a partnership to fund and run it and then invite us all to celebrate America with them.
Credible organizations such as the Society of the Cincinnati, SAR and DAR working quietly to explain what it takes to preserve our heritage to all political sides is of continuing vital importance to the American cause of liberty and the preservation of the heritage that Washington and Lincoln wanted so badly to see passed on unprofaned to posterity.
The Senate Version of the Omnibus Bill Passed on January 15
S.22 creates several trails including the W3R NHT
Title: A bill to designate certain land as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to authorize certain programs and activities in the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] (introduced 1/7/2009)
1/7/2009: Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (CR S162-163)
1/7/2009: Introduced in the Senate. Read the first time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under Read the First Time.
1/8/2009: Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 13.
1/9/2009: Motion to proceed to consideration of measure made in Senate. (Consideration: CR S239)
1/9/2009: Motion to proceed to measure considered in Senate. (Consideration: CR S239-255)
Cloture motion on the motion to proceed to the measure presented in Senate. (Consideration: CR S255; text: CR S255)
1/11/2009: Motion to proceed to measure considered in Senate. (consideration: CR S263-271)
1/11/2009: Cloture on the motion to proceed to the measure invoked in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 66 – 12. Record Vote Number: 1. (consideration: CR S271; text: CR S271)
1/12/2009: Motion to proceed to measure considered in Senate. (consideration: CR S287-299)
1/12/2009: Motion to proceed to consideration of measure agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
1/12/2009: Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent.
1/12/2009: Motion by Senator Reid to commit to Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources with instructions to report back forthwith, with the following amendment (SA 17) made in Senate. (consideration: CR S299)
1/12/2009: Cloture motion on the measure presented in Senate. (consideration: CR S299; text: CR S299)
1/13/2009: Considered by Senate. (consideration: CR S324-333)
1/14/2009: Considered by Senate. (consideration: CR S353-380)
1/14/2009: Cloture on the measure invoked in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 68 – 24. Record Vote Number: 2. (consideration: CR S356-357; text: CR S356)
1/14/2009: Motion by Senator Reid to commit to Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources with instructions to report back forthwith, with the following amendment (SA 17) withdrawn in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
1/15/2009: Considered by Senate. (consideration: CR S419-557)
1/15/2009: Passed Senate with amendments by Yea-Nay Vote. 73 – 21. Record Vote Number: 3. (text: CR S430-557)
1/16/2009: Message on Senate action sent to the House.
1/16/2009 4:06pm: Received in the House.
1/16/2009 4:07pm: Held at the desk.
The house could vote on our bill at any time now. If the House changes the bill the Senate will need to vote again.
This week please continue to contact your congressmen and ask them to, “Please SUPPORT S. 22 and OPPOSE all motions to amend or recommit.”
We need the Senate wording of the bill to pass or else the House and Senate has to negotiate and vote on another compromise. For details see: http://www.w3r-us.org/
National Trails Day is June 6 and 7th in 2009
American Trails is the only national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of all trail interests, including heritage trails, hiking, horseback riding, water trails, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, etc. American Trails’ mission is to create and protect America’s network of interconnected trails. They support local, regional, and long-distance trails and greenways, whether they are in backcountry, rural or urban areas. Their goal is to support America’s trails by finding common ground and promoting cooperation among all trail interests. National Trails day is an opportunity for the state W3R trail committees can participate and link forces with the many trail groups that intersect the W3R NHT.
On their site is a map. Click on your state and you will find dozens of trails with many of them criss crossing the W3R in your area.
National Trails Day is a time to encourage artist guilds and other groups to come outdoors with us and participate by painting the scenes, re enacting, and educating. It is a day when cultural and natural heritage can be celebrated together.
Once again the Connecticut Forest and Park Association is encouraging Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail (W3R NHT) related hikes, W3R wine and cheese celebrations, re enactments, artists and other cultural activities coordinated with the local trail hikes. The Connecticut Trails Day brochure that is published will have the W3R symbol next to every hike associated with the W3R NHT. Bolton CT will again have two such hikes. The morning hike starts with the Rose Trail at Camp 5 and continues on the Hop River Rail Trail to Bolton Notch and Squaw Cave. The afternoon hike will be at Bolton Notch and will also include a visit to Squaw Cave that overlooks the pass General Chastellux used in November of 1782 while French troops filled the other town roads.
The deadline for submitting Trails Day plans for the CT brochures is now. On March 23 the brochure will be assembled.