This is the year to expand Gettysburg sites

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I appreciate your recent articles, "Gettysburg Prepares for Tourist Spike" (April 29) and "Legislation Would Add 45 Acres, Train Station to Gettysburg Park" (April 21). As we prepare for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in July and the Gettysburg Address in November, we have the opportunity now to protect these places that are critical to telling the story of the battle and its aftermath.

We applaud the leadership of Sen. Bob Casey and Rep. Scott Perry for introducing legislation in the U.S. Senate (S. 782) and House (H.R. 1513) that would add the Gettysburg train station and 45 acres of key battlefield land to the park. We also thank Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Angus King of Maine and Pennsylvania U.S. Reps. Lou Barletta, Charles Dent, Jim Gerlach and Tom Marino for their support.

The Gettysburg train station served as a field hospital during the battle and was where President Abraham Lincoln's train arrived the night before he delivered the Gettysburg Address. The 45 acre-tract at the foot of Big Round Top was the site of skirmishes and hard fighting.

Another year should not go by without these bills being passed. Preserving our shared heritage is a bipartisan issue and Congress must act now. We encourage all to contact their members of Congress and ask them to support this important legislation. Protecting these treasured places will create a lasting legacy for the next 150 years and beyond.

CINDA M. WALDBUESSER
Exton, Pa.
The writer is Pennsylvania senior program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association.


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