||Save Our Heritage|
Protecting the Birthplace of the American Revolution,
the cradle of the Environmental Movement,
and the Home of the American Literary Renaissance
National Trust for Historic Preservation names Minute Man National Historical Park and environs of Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, and Bedford as one of the Eleven most endangered historic sites in America.
At an announcement ceremony by the National Trust at the Old North Bridge in Concord, Historian David McCullough, Congressman Marty Meehan, and former governor Michael Dukakis made impassioned pleas to Americans to preserve the historic sites that commemorate the American Revolution and the over 1000 other historic sites of Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, and Bedford.
Wendy Nicholas of the National Trust announces 11 most endangered designation
"It is embarrassing that the National Trust for Historic Preservation needs to remind us in Massachusetts about the value and importance of preserving our history", said former governor Dukakis, "I thought we already understood that".
Wendy Nicholas of the National Trust spoke of why they selected this area to be designated, and of the recent successes the Trust has had in protecting sites including protecting the historic theaters of Boston, and the Manassas Civil War battlegrounds. Complete text of her remarks.
Historian David McCullough speaks of the importance of protecting the area
Letter from Senators Kennedy and Kerry
"The Minute Man National Park is an American historical treasure. It preserves for the current and future generations the ability to literally walk in the footsteps of those who set this country on its path to independence. We appreciate the efforts of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and those gathered in Concord today who are committed to the enduring legacy of Minute Man National Park."
Letter from Representative Ed Markey
– U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Malden) today released
the following statement regarding the Minute Man National Historical
Park and surrounding national heritage sites being designated as one of
the 11 Most Endangered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
Letter from U.S. Representative Marty Meehan
“The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s inclusion of Minuteman National Park and the surrounding areas on its “11 Most Endangered Places” list lends further credence to the belief that the National park and its surrounding treasures are in grave danger.
“This designation could be a real turning point for Lexington, Concord, Bedford and Lincoln, because the National Trust is exceptional at educating the public on the importance of rescuing irreplaceable landmarks from short-sighted economic policy decisions.
“It is my hope that this designation will serve as a wake up call to all Americans, that we need to protect these historic treasures that include the birthplace of the American Revolution, and the home of the literary renaissance. Over 1.6 million people a year, from all over the world, already visit these landmarks to feel a connection with our nation’s past, and it is our duty to preserve these landmarks for future generations.
Statement from U.S. Representative John Tierney
“The National Trust for Historic Preservation is stating the reality, which is that sites like Walden Woods, Walden Pond, Minuteman National Historical Park and the Great Meadows National Refuge are in real danger."
"The preservation and protection of national historic and natural treasures like Minute Man National Historical Park, Walden Woods and Walden Pond, and the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is precisely why Congress enacted the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Over these past 37 years, countless significant historic sites have been preserved for the education and enjoyment of Americans and international visitors alike.
"The inclusion of these important landmarks on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of the "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" provides a vital safety net for the people of Bedford, Concord, Lexington and Lincoln, and I know they will take advantage of the breathing room offered by the designation to come together around long-term plans for the permanent security of these sites that are consistent with the unique character and economic vision of their communities.
"My congratulations to Save Our Heritage and all of those who have worked so hard for so long to protect the birthplace of such a major portion of our nation's cultural, historic and natural heritage for future generations."
Remarks of Mass Representative Susan Pope, Lincoln
"While I am honored to have been invited to participate in today's event, I must concede that I am also saddened that these particular circumstances have brought us together. Today we stand at the site of the home that once belonged to the grandfather of writer, and one of the original American naturalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson. That the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named this site and its surroundings one of the most endangered historical sites in the country should give any of us who value the historical and natural significance of this area great pause. This area has witnessed the battles of war and the storms of nature, only to now face the possibility of falling victim to the whims of man. In this instance, the repercussions of human actions could be vast. However, so too could the possibilities for preservation given the right human intervention. I am proud to continue to work with my colleagues in the Legislature and residents from the communities surrounding Hanscom Field in order that we might increase public understanding of the potential impacts on environmental and historic assets-like this one-from airport expansion. We will continue to work with the towns, groups like Save Our Heritage and SHAAIR, the state, and federal government toward limits on increased noise, traffic and environmental pollution. And, of critical importance is the effort to protect sites like this one, which are integral not only to our region or our state, but to our country. While the notoriety that comes with being recognized as one of the most endangered historical sites in the country is not to be celebrated, it must be paid attention to. We are here today to voice our support for the preservation of this historical area and, by drawing attention to this designation, to enlist the support of others who are struck by this environmental injustice. Encroachment upon this vital natural and historical area must stop. I wish to thank the National Trust for Historic Preservation for their continued leadership on issues of preservation and their attention to this situation in particular. Your help has been invaluable as has the work of Anna Winter and Save Our Heritage. Thank you for inviting me to be here today and to share it these efforts.