December 3, 2011, Norfolk, VA - G. Mark Walsh, JMMF National Advisory Board Member, spoke at a ceremony honoring Veterans of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 interred in the historic cemetery of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Norfolk, Virginia. Click Here For More...
Click Here for the official news release.
Governor Bob McDonnell today applauded President Barack Obama's signing of a Presidential proclamation creating a National Park Unit at Fort Monroe in Hampton. The proclamation was issued through the Antiquities Act, an executive order the President can use to designate national monuments which can then be managed as a unit of the National Park Service. Some 324 acres, including access to beaches and a significant amount of open space, is included in the President’s designation. Governor McDonnell was represented at the signing by Fort Monroe Authority Executive Director Glenn Oder. Fort Monroe ended its tenure as an active Army post in September of this year as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure order. The Commonwealth of Virginia is in the process of taking ownership of the Fort property. The decision to request a National Park Service presence at Fort Monroe was supported by Governor McDonnell, United States Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb and Virginia’s congressional delegation and local officials and was subsequently approved by the Fort Monroe Authority earlier this year.
“Today’s proclamation stands as a testament to the tireless efforts of our state and local leaders as well as the tremendous outpouring of support by the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Governor Bob McDonnell. “I congratulate everyone who has been involved in this worthy endeavor from bold start to successful finish. This was a grassroots campaign that started with the great citizens of Hampton Roads, whose passion and determination never wavered. They sought to see Fort Monroe, with its critical role in the history of America, take its rightful place for all time as a monument to our nation’s history.”
Governor McDonnell also stated, “I’d like to thank both Hampton Mayor Molly Ward whose dedication to this effort has been truly remarkable and Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, Terrie Suit, whose leadership as chair of the Fort Monroe Authority has been key to the success of this initiative. The FMA’s new Executive Director, Glenn Oder, deserves significant credit for his effort in ensuring Fort Monroe will continue to be a vibrant, historical community for future generations to enjoy. United States Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb as well as Representatives Scott Rigell and Bobby Scott all played key roles, as did our entire congressional delegation. I’m both honored and humbled to have been a small part of the effort leading to this historic proclamation that has solidified Fort Monroe’s place as a national treasure. This was a bipartisan mission to preserve our shared history, and it has succeeded.”
Secretary Terrie Suit remarked upon the event, “This proclamation is significant not just for the Commonwealth of Virginia but for the nation and the world. Our policy leaders have taken action today to preserve an incredible piece of the American story and to ensure it will be told. This is an exciting moment for all Americans. It is because of the bipartisan and selfless cooperation that took place throughout this process that generations will know what Fort Monroe has meant to our nation.”
It is the declared policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia to protect the historic resources at Fort Monroe, provide public access to the Fort's resources and recreational opportunities, and to exercise exemplary stewardship of the Fort's natural areas.
With a history stretching back over 400 years, Old Point Comfort and Fort Monroe are best known for the Fort's role as the birthplace of the Civil War-era “Contraband" decision. This courageous decision was a crucial moment in the eradication of the evil institution of slavery in this country. The Contraband decision is one of the least well-known and most important chapters of American history. This proclamation and the authority it brings with it, will help to commemorate the struggles and triumphs of 500,000 African American women, children, and men who freed themselves at great risk thereby securing their own liberty, influencing national politics, and hastening the formal Emancipation Proclamation and amendment to the United States Constitution. The Contraband decision is why Fort Monroe was given the moniker: “Freedom’s Fortress.”
Governor McDonnell recently lobbied President Obama personally on the matter when he met with him October 19 during the President’s visit to Hampton. The Governor also joined local, state and federal officials in wearing green that day in support of a National Park System designation at Fort Monroe.
Citizens are also being made aware of and encouraged to give to the new Fort Monroe Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization which provides crucial support to the Fort Monroe Authority for its public education, recreation and stewardship efforts at Fort Monroe National Historic Landmark District. For more information, visit www.fmauthority.com.
Last Updated on Saturday, 24 March 2012 12:27
On Saturday, December 3 2011, the following speech was given at a ceremony honoring Veterans of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 interred in the historic cemetery of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Norfolk, Virginia, by JMMF National Advisory Board Member G. Mark Walsh:
Event Sponsors…honored guests…Ladies and Gentlemen…The James Monroe Memorial Foundation is honored to lay a wreath here in the historic cemetery that is St. Paul’s Churchyard. Although his remains are not here (they rest in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond), our Fifth President was himself a Veteran of the War of Independence. He was Secretary of State during the second Madison Administration and in 1814, Secretary of War…so it is in his memory and in solidarity with the Veterans of the Revolution and War of 1812 interred in this historic cemetery that the Monroe Foundation is pleased and proud to be a participant in today’s ceremony.
It is worthy of note that the man who had been a member of the Continental Congress, a Virginia Senator, Governor of Virginia, and so much more before his Presidency was interested in this area. It was in his capacity as Governor that he knew and worked with Brigadier General Thomas Mathews, also honored here today. As Minister to England Monroe was concerned with the effects of the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair of 1807, and while Mathews worked on military preparedness for the Norfolk area, Monroe pressed for a diplomatic solution. By the time of his return to Virginia as Governor in 1811, Monroe was convinced that a vigorous series of defense installations – what today we would call “Homeland Security” – was required and he and General Mathews continued to fortify Fort Norfolk and other area military facilities. Further, Monroe was keenly aware of the strategic importance of this area throughout “America’s Second War of Independence.”
The lessons of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 were not lost on President Monroe. He sought to implement his vision of coastal defense installations combined with interior military posts, for in developing the Doctrine that bears his name, he knew that telling the Old World to stay out of the New would have little effect without the resources required to back that resolve up.
In summary, let us consider the words of James Monroe himself, when he said: "Our country may be likened to a new house. We lack many things, but we possess the most precious of all - liberty!"…and let us never forget, nor our gratitude ever cease towards those who, like the Veterans of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 interred herein, sacrificed so much for our liberty. Thank you.
The Memorial Salute to Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Veterans interred in the Churchyard at St. Paul’s, Norfolk VA.
Last Updated on Monday, 12 December 2011 03:27
By Clint Schemmer on October 21st, 2011 3:54 pm
Today, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced his appointments to the Board of Regents of the James Monroe Law Office Museum and Memorial Library, the nation’s premier institution devoted to the life and accomplishments of James Monroe, fifth president of the United States.
Click Here for the Official Governor's Announcement
President James Monroe
These individuals received gubernatorial appointments (an asterisk denotes a re-appointment):
· Erma Baker* of Fredericksburg, Assistant Vice President for Business Services at the University of Mary Washington
· Porter Blakemore of Fredericksburg, Associate Professor of History and American Studies at the University of Mary Washington
· Roger C. Braxton, Jr. of Fredericksburg, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Museum
· Peter Broadbent, Jr. of Richmond, Partner with Christian & Barton LLP
· Mary Randolph Corbin* of Corbin
· Kerry Johnson of Midlothian, Environmental Protection Specialist for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
· Justin Loren Logsdon of Alexandria, Manager Partner of Asaph Group LLC
· Dr. James Lucier of Leesburg
· Mary Grace Lucier of Leesburg
· Charles G. McDaniel* of Fredericksburg, Chairman of the Hildrup Companies
· Patrick McSweeney of Powhatan, lawyer
· Barbara Micou of Chester
· The Honorable Helen Marie Taylor of Orange
· Reverend Rita Thompson of Springfield, Senior Assistant Dean of Admission at the University of Mary Washington
Last Updated on Saturday, 24 March 2012 12:29