My apologies for the long delay in posting – it was quite a busy weekend and last couple of days. Over the weekend we hosted 17 relatives from Pennsylvania and New York for a family Christmas party, and this week has been rather hectic.
Yesterday, however, brought some of the best news that history preservationists have hoped for – for a long time. After years of watching battlefield land being plowed under to make way for shiny new McMansions (and news that even more is on the way – see the Hunterstown battlefield near Gettysburg), it was announced yesterday that the assinine proposal for a casino at Gettysburg was voted down by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. If you haven’t seen the Civil War Preservation Trust’s news release on this yet, go to their website.
I, like many folks, was beginning to lose hope recently that a casino at Gettysburg was all but a “done deal.” Frankly, it shocks me that the idea of a slots parlor near the nation’s most popular and visited battlefield even made it this far. To put it bluntly, in my opinion you have to give less than a fat rat’s ass about this country’s history to even think of such an idea. Just ask folks who live anywhere near a casino.
And yes, I’ve always heard about the “jobs” that they bring to an area. Sure they do. Pimps. Whores. Drug dealers. And the need for police, firemen, and undertakers skyrocket. Again, just ask anyone who lives near one.
This was truly a victory for everyone, not just the preservationists. Let’s say a particular person wanted the casino at Gettysburg, or didn’t care either way. Well, maybe their child or grandchild might become interested in this country’s history, and want to visit places like Gettysburg. They’ll be able to do so now, peacefully for the most part, without having to stand in the National Cemetery and be subjected to flashing neon lights, the “ding ding” of slots ringing near by, and listening to a crowd screaming for the winner of the “Jeb Stuart $100,000 Galloping Jackpot.”
While I’m being blunt, may I suggest that David LeVan and folks of his ilk find some other place to attempt to soil. LeVan, the owner of the “Gettysburg Battlefield Harley-Davidson” was the power and money behind the casino attempt. Perhaps it would be better if LeVan sells his businesses and just gets out of Gettysburg altogether. Maybe he can go north and get a casino built on Plymouth Rock.
And let’s hope this type of silliness never rises again. Had they put the casino at Gettysburg, Antietam would continue to look so much better as an alternative. Even today I enjoy going to Antietam once or twice a year to contrast the commercialism at Gettysburg – imagine that – the “commercialism” at Gettysburg. Maybe now, considering what it could be like had the casino been approved, Gettysburg won’t look so commercial after all.