The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Message on the 154th Anniversary Of The Battle of Cedar Creek
We at the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation join with the entire community of partners, friends and supporters in commemorating the 154th anniversary of The Battle of Cedar Creek. It is impossible to equal or even come close to the sacrifices and heroism shown on the battlefield. On October 19, 1864, the extraordinary became routine. Two great armies collided. Eventually, one Nation – greater, stronger, and more enduring – arose. Our legacy and privilege is to recognize and never forget the heroism on the battlefield and the heroism that motivated former adversaries to come together and strive together for “a more perfect union.”
Of first and foremost importance, the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation continues, in the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln’s instruction, to respect and honor the American spirit of sacrifice and dedication, as demonstrated on the fields of Cedar Creek, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, Antietam, Shiloh, and elsewhere – and this respect and honor is given “with malice toward none.” For those who doubt, or even vigorously oppose, the tribute and respect paid to combatants on the Cedar Creek Battlefield, we can accept debate, but not hate or rancor.
Upon this anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek, the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation believes it is also appropriate to reiterate its mission, confirm its principles, and assure our past, present, and future supporters that our character and vision has not changed. We will continue to preserve the land and legacy of Cedar Creek. We will continue in our efforts to support those who share our love of country, our dedication to interpreting and teaching history, and our mission to ensure that future generations understand the sacrifices that, eventually, brought all of us closer together. In this spirit, we wish to specifically thank the members of the reenactment community who have made so many sacrifices to properly commemorate the battles of the American Civil War and preserve its lessons. They, like the members of our Foundation and our other supporters, have accepted significant personal and financial sacrifice in the spirit of public service, freedom of expression, and reaffirmation of our shared principles of liberty and mutual respect.
We are working on plans going forward and appreciate all of the support and constructive input. We will not abandon our principles or our friends. As to future reenactments of the Battle of Cedar Creek, we are working hard to discover ways to ensure that this important social and cultural exercise is not lost to the Valley and to the Nation forever. Like generations who have come before us, we prize our community’s determination, generosity of spirit, and freedom of expression. We invite you to participate in this effort with us.
On a more “administrative” note, there were many reenactors who pre-paid registration fees for the 2018 reenactment before we were forced to cancel the event. Many of these dedicated reenactors transferred their pre-payments into donations to the Foundation – and we are truly grateful for their support and generosity. The annual reenactment events have been a significant source of funds and a gratifying means of expressing support for the Foundation. Having been forced to cut the reenactment short last year, with no spectator revenue on Sunday, and being forced (reluctantly) to cancel this year, has presented the Foundation with financial challenges. We ask that any reenactors who wish a refund of their 2018 registration fees please contact us by October 31, 2018 so we can process the refund rapidly and move forward.
In conclusion, we wish to take this opportunity to again commemorate the Battle of Cedar Creek, the soldiers who participated in it, and the families and friends who supported them on the home front, in their places of worship, and in their efforts at recovery and reconciliation. As a Foundation dedicated to public service, we are truly seeking to reach across all divides, political positions, and historical perspectives to continue in our teaching and preservation efforts which are motivated, in significant part, by the admonition that “those who do not learn history, are doomed to repeat it.” We appreciate your help – and will continue to try to live up to your support and expectations.
The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation