Today is the 111th Anniversary of the American Antiquities Act. The act was signed in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt after being passed by Congress. It gives the President authority to create monuments out of public lands that have significant natural, cultural, or scientific features. It is done by presidential proclamation, and has created many monuments over it’s long history.
Monuments Under Threat
20+ of these Monuments are currently being threatened. We have until July 10, 2017 to let our voices be heard in D.C. to save them! These are our American heritage and if we let them go, we will not get them back. It may just open it up to lose more than the 20 already under threat. Read on for what the monuments mean to my family and I, and why they need to be saved and preserved. You can also read from other bloggers who contributed to a Monumental Day of Blogging for our monuments. Please share.
These National Monuments are varied but all special. The are essentially open museums that preserve and protect our resources, cultural heritage, history, and ecology. They range from ancient dwellings and ruins in the American Southwest, to marine monuments with unique habitats and ecosystems.
America’s First National Monument – Devil’s Tower
Located in north eastern Wyoming, Devil’s Tower was the first National Monument designation. It is an igneous rock butte rising majestically above the landscape. It is the source of legend, history, and adventure. It was and still is a holy place, especially for Native Americans. You can feel the peace and beauty of it just standing in it’s impressive shadow. It would be the first of the now 117 locations with National Monument designations throughout the US and her territories.
Childhood Memories – Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
I spent almost every summer with my father’s family in St. Augustine Florida. The town is a historical wonder and holds a very special place in my heart and memories. The Castillo de San Marcos, at over 300 years old, is the oldest masonry fort in the continental US and the ultimate icon and representative of St. Augustine to me. I have many childhood memories of visits to this fort and playing on her lush lawns. I have always loved history and have spent many hours within her grand, strong walls learning of her varied past. I could not imagine losing something not only such a big part of my life, but a part of America.
Many More Family Memories with the Monuments
As avid National Park Service and Public Land supporters, we have many family memories to National Parks and Monuments. My husband’s trip with his brother to Montezuma Castle National Monument in Arizona. A family vacation through the southwest that included Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument. Our honeymoon visit to Little Big Horn National Monument. My husband and I have many special memories of visiting the monuments as children with our parents, and we are continuing that tradition with our own children and grandchildren. I could not, and do not, want to imagine a world without these precious treasures.
Not only do our National Monuments have a cultural, historical, and personal significance, they also have financial. These locations provide jobs in their areas, not only in the parks themselves but in the surrounding towns. Many are located in rural areas where jobs are extremely scarce. They bring in people who improve the local economy. Money is not the most important thing to me, but in a world where jobs are becoming hard to find, do we need to be taking them away?
These monuments house and protect many different and unique species and ecosystems. It’s no secret that we humans are destroying our planet. We are developing every last inch of land, and that is not what it was meant for. It throws everything out of kilter. That is partly why we are experiencing unprecedented levels of flooding, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. Some of this is due to over development. If they sell off these lands to private entities, they will develop and only make matters worse.
Our representatives, especially the President, are supposed to speak for the PEOPLE! Today, please speak up and tell them you want and need these Monuments saved and protected. Let your voices be heard, this will take you to where you can make a public comment to save these loacations. Sign petitions, write your congressmen and women. Tweet it, post it, instagram it, facebook it! Let’s flood them with support and outcries to #SaveOurMonuments because #MonumentsMatter!
Support Our Parks and Monuments
Get out and visit the monuments. Donate if you can, because budget cuts are another issue threatening all of our parks. Please share your stories, favorite monuments, and/or what they mean to you. Not just today, but everyday. We have until July 10, 2017 to be heard and make a difference. Let’s show them the power of the American People! God Bless the USA and all of you. Thank you for your support and help.
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