for immediate release
official in New Jersey moves to take up the 'Readshaw Challenge'
CONTACT: Jay Purdy (717) 787-7895
HARRISBURG, March 2 --The groundwork has been established for New Jersey to become the first northern state to take up the "Readshaw Challenge" and commit to preserving its monuments and markers on the historic battlefield at Gettysburg.
At the start of his campaign to preserve Pennsylvania's 137 monuments and markers at Gettysburg, state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, issued a challenge to other states with monuments at Gettysburg to establish similar programs.
Mississippi and Louisiana, who credit Readshaw with alerting them to the need for repairs to their monuments, quickly responded. New Jersey would be the first state from the Union to take official measures as a result of his crusade.
Maryland already had a preservation program in place and private organizations in Delaware traditionally have seen to it that funds for maintenance to the monuments from their state are provided when necessary. In New Jersey, state Sen. Diane Allen, a Republican from Burlington, has introduced a bill (S.B. 1741) that would allocate $55,335 to preserve the Garden State's 13 monuments and markers in Gettysburg National Military Park. Of that amount, $16,335 would be used for the immediate restoration needs and $39,000 would be placed in a National Parks Service foundation fund in an interest-bearing account for future maintenance.
Members of the Camp Olden Civil War Roundtable, based in Hamilton, N.J., brought the condition of the monuments to Allen's attention after they learned of Readshaw's efforts in Pennsylvania. A spokesman for Allen said prospects are good for enactment of her legislation. In a news release issued by her office, Allen said that while the monuments are in a national park, they represent New Jersey.
"The state must step up to the plate to see that they are maintained properly so that our monuments are there for generations to come as a symbol of New Jersey patriotism," said Allen. "These monuments were neglected in the past, and therefore the state should take action to ensure that they do not fall into ruin."
Readshaw said he stands ready to offer Allen whatever information he can provide and is willing to travel to Trenton himself if it would assist enactment of the senator's legislation.
"I salute Senator Allen and New Jersey for their patriotic effort to preserve their monuments to the New Jersey men who fought at Gettysburg," said Readshaw. "I hope that Pennsylvania, where the hallowed ground of Gettysburg is located, will follow suit." Through private contributions, Readshaw has raised about $40,000 to preserve Pennsylvania's monuments at Gettysburg.Readshaw and the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 717-783-0411.
Updated: October 25, 2000
Copyright: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
This page is best viewed with Internet Explorer.