Dear Mr. Duke:
We write to you with profound disappointment in your companys decision to locate a new store near The Wilderness battlefield in Virginia and urge your immediate reconsideration.
While we may represent different political parties and states on opposing sides of the Civil War, we stand united in our support of respecting hallowed ground such as The Wilderness battlefield. The Wilderness, as well as other battlegrounds throughout the United States, represents the great struggles and sacrifices our soldiers made to defend freedoms they cherished deeply enough to risk their lives. Four thousand men on both sides died and twenty thousand were wounded during this battle in the spring of 1864. These lands and lands near them should always be spared from commercial development. Further, the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission, formed by Congress to protect the historical significance of our nations Civil War sites, has defined your proposed land for development as part of The Wilderness battlefield.
There are countless other locations your company could consider for a more responsibly sited development in this region. We feel the definition of corporate responsibility must always extend to respecting storied lands and respecting a communitys natural landscape and surroundings when choosing a site for a store. Those values should not be eroded for the sake of commercial gain.
We urge you to listen to feedback youve received from groups close to The Wilderness battlefield and others who care deeply about keeping this nations history and lands preserved and look elsewhere for development. We look forward to your response.
Congressman Ted Poe and Congressman Peter Welch