States should commitment to financially helping with monument repairs

Published 10:06 am Saturday, January 2, 2016

Though Vicksburg National Military Park has more than 1,350 monuments, plaques, tablets and markers on park grounds, it is the Missouri Monument that has taken center stage.

Just two weeks ago, lawmakers in Missouri said they had reserved $375,000 for the repairs, but the Department of National Resources said money from that particular fund could not be designated to the monument.

Park superintendent Bill Justice said he’s not worried about the funding from the state of Missouri because the VNMP is seeking a funding source from the federal government that is used to rehabilitate historic structures, which he hopes will come through.

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“We are competing with over 400 parks for the funding, and we have to make the case the job needs to be done,” Justice said.

The job most certainly does need to be done, no matter where the funding comes from. We especially believe states should be committed to keeping their monuments in superior shape, considering the legacy they’re intended to leave.

The Civil War may seem like a long time ago, but those brave men fought and died for their states, and theirs is a legacy that should not be left to fall into ruin.

States made a commitment when they erected statues and the like for their fallen men. This was not a one-time show of appreciation, but rather a lengthy commitment to remember those who gave their lives.

Justice said the Missouri monument needs repairs to some of the masonry and casting. Plus, he said, some previous repairs have caused some current issues that need to be fixed. Justice said the memorial is even missing a few pieces that need to be remodeled and placed back on the structure.

Earlier this year, a small crew took care of some of the markers and made sure they were waxed and cleaned so the bronze didn’t turn green. Justice said a lot of the larger memorials still need work.

He said the Wisconsin monument has stains on the steps and the Texas monument has soil that needs to be stabilized before repairs can even be made.

TripAdvisor ranks Vicksburg National Military Park as the No. 1 tourist attraction in the state of Mississippi. We think it should stay that way, and through proper preservation, it will.