Volunteers help keep history appealing

Published 12:54 pm Monday, April 7, 2014

A drive to preserve the history of Vicksburg National Military Park and serve as a role model were the reasons Rebecca Busby picked up a paintbrush Saturday.

“It is important to get involved with our community’s efforts to preserve all of our history,” said Busby, one of about 35 volunteers who spent time painting the gates of Vicksburg National Cemetery and some of the park’s cannons Saturday. “This is a good example for our children to see how we value what we have in our community and how important it is to take care of it.”

The volunteer work is part of the annual Civil War Trust Park Day. The trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the country.

Rick Roma’s volunteering was spurred a feeling of giving back to the place where he exercises.

“A lot of us exercise in the park and compete in the Run Through History. Most of us have lived here in Vicksburg for 30 years or more, so we felt that it was important to help out the park,” said Roma.

Volunteers grabbed their paint and brushes and went to work at 8 a.m.

VNMP natural resources manager Virginia DuBowy praised the volunteers for their commitment to helping keep the park looking presentable.

“The volunteers really help us. We don’t have the staff to keep all of our historical artifacts painted on a regular basis. When the volunteers come in and help out, it lessens the workload on the park’s staff. We’re so grateful for them coming to help out and we’re glad that they love this place as much as they do,” she said.

First-time volunteer Don Clark believed that the park’s call out for helpers was a chance to give the community a sense of importance.

“This is a fantastic opportunity. It’s great that the park put this together so that the community can play a key role in helping maintain the park,” said Clark.

Fifth-year volunteer Susan Taylor’s love for the park is what brought her out to help. Taylor said that she’s been coming to the park for the past 40 years.

“I’ve always loved the park. The park is the main part of town and it is the best thing about Vicksburg in my opinion,” said Taylor.