The Last Full Measure of Depravity: Developers Push For Gettysburg Casino

We have followed earlier controversies involving the development of Civil War battlefields and historic areas by Disney, Walmart, and other corporations — often with the help of local politicians bent on trading their heritage for short-term gains. We can now add Gettysburg where local politicians have been pushing for a Gettysburg Casino over the objections of preservationists.

The plan to convert Gettysburg’s Eisenhower Conference Center into a gambling casino has the surprising support of the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association. However, the American Legion, historians, and a host of others are opposing the idea as a disgrace. The casino would be located only a half a mile from the park and on land that is part of the large battlefield area where 172,000 Union and Confederate troops fought and nearly 8,000 died.

You can now use the actual deployment maps to show developers surrounding and destroying this sacred area.

While proponents claim that the casino could increase visitors to the park, it seems doubtful that people will want to take a break from the one-armed bandits to run over and get some history. Indeed, while this was the sales pitch for a casino near Vicksburg, there has been no increase in visitation to that historic park.

I remain astonished over the willingness for people to dishonor such proud and noble heritage for cheap big box stores and casinos. Perhaps they can offer Pickett’s Charge Cards. Of course, they can claim that it was Union Col. William Gamble who introduced the idea.

Local politicians appear to have forgotten the words of Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the hero of Little Round Top: “In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear, but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls.”

This remains one of the most sacred and shared areas of history for our nation. It should be a source of pride for those people living in this area and bring an added sense of duty to protect this legacy. To dishonor this legacy with a cheap Casino that will commercialize this battle is a national outrage.

They have finally proven Abraham Lincoln wrong when he assured his fellow citizens that “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”

Just in case the local planning board would be interested in a slight distraction before degrading our shared heritage, they may want to read the following before their final vote:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Source: WTOP

33 thoughts on “The Last Full Measure of Depravity: Developers Push For Gettysburg Casino”

  1. “If we are going to lose a war to corporations….well, this is what it looks like.”


  2. another thought on this thread…when all of our history has been paved over with wallmarts and gambling joints and such, lost will be any connection that we have to the substance and the actions that spoke of what was important and necessary to building a country that was/is? Free. It is not different from those who specialize in (what do they call it…), not friendly acquisitions…(hostile takeovers!)anyway, they will change the language first….that breaks the connection to the activities and behaviors that anchor the current business and peoples, it creates a chaotic environment that is easier to manipulate. New people will replace those in positions of power. It is the same when land is taken over…the importance of wiping out the visual and tangible reminders of what was thought important in a system is that new connections can be put in place. Not necessarily ones that we would agree to if they were forthcoming of intent.

    If we are going to lose a war to corporations….well, this is what it looks like.

  3. “….it’s just land. People died there once.”

    I so disagree. Have you ever been there? Land can quite often be a sponge for intention and emotion and that can absolutely be palpable. Thousands of souls clashing over deeply held belief leaves a very loud footprint. It was said that Patton could stand on a battlefield and tell you almost evry thing that occurred there.

    I have been to some of the historic sites in VA, none so well known as this, and it does feel different. Perhaps it is the lingering reverence of a million pensive visitors…surely it is NOT the red/black inkings of a profit driven developer.

    In Germany, when travelling by train to Munich, we passed a camp (it may have been Dachau…it’s been a while…), well the train was boisterous with young people on vacation and daily travellers animatedly chatting as the train began to slow into a station. The sign on the side of the track read Dachau and the once lively crowd silenced in unison and with no external cue to do so. People not only stopped talking they stopped making eye contact. The air was thick with reverence and memory. It wasn’t until the train had left the station to about a mile into the countryside that the silence once again abated.

    I wish everyone could experience a moment of hush like that.

  4. in consession to the fact it’s a civil war battlefield the roulette wheel will have blue and grey instead of red and black

  5. Moar:

    isn’t that rather harsh? Wouldn’t we lose some of our history? It was where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, isn’t that worth something?

    Although I do agree that not every single battlefield should or needs to be saved.

  6. Byron,

    Gotcha, you’re saying people don’t make that distinction, not that YOU don’t make that distinction.

    Like I said, I the way I was reading your statement didn’t gel with what I knew about you.

  7. In land use regulation as in other branches of law there is supposed to be procedural due process. One difference w land use regulation is that the evidence is more substantive than for say criminal law. Witness statements are generally irrelevant. All the public hearings are supposed to be recorded and the land itself is described by many documents.

    There is a great publication about land use law developments called Law of the Land. The articles are written by a law professor, Patricia Salkin.

  8. Yissil/Buddha:

    I am saying most people do not understand the simple concept of do unto others . . . or as Gyges is want to put it “my rights end where your face begins” or some such thing.

  9. Gyges:

    No, of course not, anarchy is anarchy which is constrained only by the morality of each individual. Something I am not going to bet the farm on.

    Did you know that in the 19th century charity was the 8th largest “industry”? So what I am saying is that people no longer look to themselves or their family or local charities for support, they expect government to do everything. As Gerald Ford apparently said “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have. And Thomas Jefferson said “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” – to Edward Carrington, Paris, 27 May 1788

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