4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 6, 2016 10:06 AM by Christian Belena

    What historic landmark did you enjoy visiting the most?

    Thomas Richardson Tracker

      History is found in our communities, schools, neighborhoods, places of work, and even in our own homes. Famous and historic landmarks like parks, buildings, and battlefields are dotted throughout the world. Where have you visited or what historic landmark do you enjoy learning about?

        • Re: What historic landmark did you enjoy visiting the most?

          For July 4th this year, we went to Gunston Hall, the home of Bill of Rights demander/inspirer George Mason. Not crowded at all; everyone was over at that "other" George's house up the river [Mount Vernon]. George Mason was a modest man, with a modest house, who dug in his heels for the very best of reasons: ensuring that human rights would be a cornerstone of our democracy.

          2 people found this helpful
          • Re: What historic landmark did you enjoy visiting the most?

            I feel that Gettysburg National Military Park is a great example of how a park can develop over time to provide visitors a truly educational experience.  Having visited the park a number of times since 1979, I have seen it steadily grow from a mere tourist attraction to being an immersive encounter with an important chapter in American history. Recent land purchases have allowed the Park to eliminate many of the "touristy" parts of the battlefield, such as motels and observation towers.  Telephone and power lines have been buried and agricultural plantings have been resurrected to give the land around the park a great resemblance to the battlefield of July 1863 so that today's visitors can see what the opposing armies saw. 


            Admittedly Gettysburg is the National Park Service's poster child for battlefield preservation--numerous attempts to commercialize the Gettysburg area have been defeated over the years due to vigilance by the Park Service and public interest groups.  Sadly the same cannot be said about the many battlefield parks in Northern Virginia and the Richmond area--the commercial interests have made far too many encroachments onto land equally as sacred as Gettysburg.

            2 people found this helpful
            • Re: What historic landmark did you enjoy visiting the most?
              Marita Haanschoten Wayfarer

              The most impressive landmark for me is the American Cemetery in Margraten, the Netherlands. When I entered the (American) grounds there for the first time a couple of years ago, I was so touched and deeply impressed to see the 8301 graves of young Americans, and 1722 names of missing Americans on the Wall of the Missing. I sincerely appreciate and I am very grateful for their sacrifice for the freedom of our country, the Netherlands. A country that was heavily burdened by the atrocities of Nazi occupation, and by its sheer terror. The people of the village of Margraten, and of other surrounding villages, adopted every single grave, which is unique in the world, and have remembered these young Americans for the past 70 years. They call them "our boys". Although these young American men, and four young American women, stayed on Dutch soil, they have never been forgotten here. (See article in the 2015 The Washington Post "Americans gave their lives to defeat the Nazis. The Dutch have never forgotten."). Whenever I visit the American cemetery, I stand in awe, and feel sorrow, for the fallen, and also for their families in the United States. Their parents, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, and children must have been utterly devastated that their loved ones never came home. We will never forget their sacrifice.

              1 person found this helpful
              • Re: What historic landmark did you enjoy visiting the most?
                Christian Belena Adventurer

                I was the Assistant Historian at The Green-Wood Cemetery National Historic Landmark in my native Brooklyn, NY. It is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the United States and is one of the last remnants of the Battle of Brooklyn (AKA Battle of Long Island) which pitted Gen Washington against the Howe Brothers from August 27-29, 1776. It was the first battle of the War after the Declaration of Independence was signed, thus making it the first battle of the War for Independence as well as the first battle for the Continental Army.


                When new graves are dug we must have an archaeologist on site because we never know if any artifacts will be unearthed. Also, it holds the remains of the many famous Americans - Theodore Roosevelt's family, Laura Keene (the actress on stage during Lincoln's assassination), many early American baseball pioneers, "Boss" Tweed, Frank Morgan (The "Wizard" of Oz) and countless others.


                Most of the monuments are one-of-a-kind which - such as that of William Kingsley, a pioneer of the Brooklyn Bridge, whose stone was actually taken from the bridge. The "rules" stipulated that the monuments were to be unconventional as to bring tourism in. There is also an Indian princess interred at the cemetery.


                The cemetery holds many events during the year including a tribute to the Battle of Brooklyn during the weekend of August 27.

                2 people found this helpful