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'Honor not for sale'

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'Honor not for sale'
Photo by: National Parks Service

American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster recently reaffirmed the Legion's opposition to a proposed casino near the Gettysburg battlefield.

"As a free nation, I respect the right of people to disagree but there is a misperception among some that because a few local veterans support the casino then The American Legion supports it," Foster said . "Gettysburg was a decisive and major battle in the War Between the States. Those who died there hailed from all the existing states of the Union and Confederacy. Saying that protecting the memory of these heroes is a ‘local issue' is like calling the Civil War a ‘local disturbance.' We realize that there is a lot of money backing the casino, but honor is not for sale."

Although the proposal advanced by a Gettysburg business developer would place the casino a half-mile from the 6,000-acre Gettysburg National Military Park, preservationists point out that the site would be next to where Union Cavalry advanced toward the South Cavalry field - a substantial scene of the fighting.

Foster emphasized that The American Legion is sympathetic to economic hardships that have affected the area. "We are not ‘anti-casino,' we are ‘pro-veteran,' Foster said. "We simply believe it should be built further away from the field that Abraham Lincoln called ‘consecrated' ground. There are other locations in the state that want to host the facility. We hope that officials see the importance of protecting the sanctity of that special place in American history."

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board hopes to reach a decision before the end of the year after a series of public meetings. Foster said that most of the feedback that his organization has received from veterans outside the Gettysburg area has been overwhelmingly supportive of The American Legion's position.

The American Legion Department of Pennsylvania, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Veterans for Gettysburg, Gov. Ed Rendell and historian Ken Burns also oppose building the casino near the battlefield.

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November 13, 2010 - 11:57am

If the casino can be built in another place not close to the battlefield then why not build it there? Gettysburg is just such a beauitful place and to put a casino so close to it would ruin the beauity. You have to stay there and get up early in the morning and go walk through it to really see the beauity. Don't ruin it.

Walter Curtis

October 29, 2010 - 5:07pm

I'm in agreement with Commander Foster: I'm not anti-casino per se, and I am pro veteran (and the historic sites and monuments to honor them). While I don't live in PA, I would be equally appalled if there were efforts to build a casino adjacent to the Bennington Battle Ground here in Vermont. It is a question of dishonoring the memories of those who fought and died. Any commercial enterprise of that magnitude located within sight of a memorial will have a negative impact. And do we really need another casino? I appreciate that it will create jobs, but are they as good paying as, say, manufacturing jobs? How about the fact that casinos take in more than they pay out (profit). This means that it really just sucks money out of the vast majority of visitors who come with the false hope of striking it rich.


October 28, 2010 - 9:27pm

If you have ever visited the Gettysburg battlefield, you would understand the awe and reverence of that historic place. I'm ashamed that there are greedy commercial individuals that have no morality and care about nothing other than the almighty buck. I VOTE A BIG "NO" TO THE CASINO. If it were put 5 or 6 miles away they would make the same amount of money.It's amazing how far people will drive to gamble.

Walter Schneider

October 28, 2010 - 9:27pm

Let's look at the facts: 1. The casino is NOT being built on hallowed ground. 2. To say that civil war soldiers walked near this site could be said of most places from here to Georgia. 3. Stopping the casino will not stop gambling in Pennsylvania. It will simply be built at one of 3 other sites. 4. The casino will bring much needed jobs to this area. 5. The casino will bring in much needed tax revenues to this area. 6. Let us decide what is best for us, not national organizations with their own agendas.


October 28, 2010 - 7:51pm

My first thought was, "Is This Tribal Land?" Americans continually think that they have an inherent right to Tribal Lands. The American Legion did not even consider mentioning whether or not it. I expect the Legion to do a more unbiased report by clearly verifying whether Tribal Land is included. I am Scottish American with strong ties to the Native American Culture.


October 28, 2010 - 4:56pm

If the casino isn't on the 6,000 (six THOUSAND) acres of the National Monument, then I think it's fine. Did people walk on this land to get to the battle, probably. Big deal. Also, if this will benefit the community and maybe bring more people to the monument, isn't that a good thing also. I work for a small casino and I know the economic impact it has brought to the community is tremendous!

John L Peterson Jr.

October 28, 2010 - 3:59pm

Easter Sunday 1965, as a young PFC I attended Easter Sunrise Services at Gettysburg at the top of the ridge attacked by Hood's Brigade of Texans.It was cold and foggy and the hair stood up on the back of my neck.I had family in that fight and at the Alamo.I am 3rd generation Army,my Son is fourth generation. This constant desecration of our heritage and monuments must cease.Are they wanting to open a cat house there too! Enough is enough!


October 28, 2010 - 3:50pm

If it is not, then no casino. If it is, then the governments should step aside in favor of the sovereign American Indian nation's wishes. After what we've done to them over the centuries, it is the right thing to do.


October 27, 2010 - 5:26pm

Building a Casino at Gettysburg would be the first signs of forgeting. We all know where it would go from there. Lets hope they don't forget to remember.


October 25, 2010 - 3:04pm

I'm very much in favor of The American Legion's position against Casinos in Gettysburg, Pa. Amen to all Brother Foster said against Casinos near the Battlfields. I live in York, Pennsylvania and a member of Headquarters Post #945. Gregory E. Moul Sr.

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