Topic: "Give Heath a Chance (2)"
Joshua Chamberlain, later the President of Bowdoin College, and the boys from Maine held the field at Little Round Top in the month of July, 1863. It can be argued that they played a very important role in the preservation of the Union. Frodo is very appreciative.
138 years and 2 months later, in a field in Pennsylvania, a number of other brave men and women sacrificed themselves in a desperate struggle to prevent even greater loss of life in that same Union. Frodo stands, hand on heart, in honor of those brave souls.
People have been coming to both of those places ever since the events that burned them into our collective memory. At Little Round Top, amidst the National Park that is Gettysburg, people come to see where Pickett charged, and Lincoln spoke, and the boys from Maine charged downhill to rout the Alabamians. To the West, in that field, people come to stare at the crater where the creation of Man came into collision with the creation of God. No matter what else happened that day, everyone who comes there remembers the words "Let's roll." The reverent nature of both locations is different however, and that, dear reader, is "the rub."
That crater in that field sits on private land. Proposals have been made for the land to be purchased, jointly, by the United States Government and private donations. The appropriate Committee Chairman of the House of Representatives has taken the position to block the acquisition of the land. Arguing that the United States Government already owns more than enough of our national landscape, and that the private donations are not keeping pace with the commitment, the Congressman (from North Carolina) is acting to safeguard the American taxpayer. The Congressman has, alternatively, suggested that donated money be used to fund scholarships in Memory of those who died in that field on that day.
That Congressman, a Republican, is being challenged for re-election. Mr. Heath Shuler, former quarterback at the University of Tennessee, and the Washington Redskins, is opposing him, as a Democrat. Heath Shuler was an All-American, who received a $17 Million bonus to sign with the Redskins. He was out of football within three years. Frodo feels that he just wasn't good enough.
Frodo doesn't know very much about the campaign being waged by the aspiring Congressperson-to-be, but Frodo would support Mickey Mouse himself if it meant removing from office a Congressman who just doesn't get it.
Frodo doesn't like paying taxes. Frodo likes the idea of providing money for higher education for deserving students. But Frodo knows that it is important to pause and take note of the acts that have inspired the birth and the life of our nation.
It is only fitting that the acreage be acquired, and public access be provided for all of those who want, or need, to reflect on what happened there, on that day, and how much it means.
Frodo will write to Mr. Shuler and he will tell him that he will have the opportunity to represent much more than one small part of North Carolina. He will represent all of us who remember. Frodo, and Mr. Shuler, can use your help.