The unbearable burden of history

When speaking with heritage tourism officials, keep it simple, very simple. Here are a few choice comments recently addressed to such functionaries:

Civil War battlefields are not just national treasures ... Each one is also a treasure trove of benefits for its neighboring community.
History - not as worthless as you think. There are loads of crazies out there who get their kicks visiting historical sites.

Millions of Americans are willing to spend their money to visit these historic shrines — as long as local officials have the wisdom not to pave them over.
Money and shrines, shrines and money. Are you picturing the widow tossing her last mite into the temple treasury? That mite could be yours, my dear local official.

A battlefield is a powerful magnet for the most desirable tourists in the marketplace.

How many mites are we tossing into that treasury, you ask. "... every 702 out-of-town visitors to a battlefield translated into a new job in the community. [...]The average visitor spends about $54.87 per day."

You are going to need a lot of $20 per night motels to house the influx of $54.87 per day visiting widows. But assuming they are day trippers, at 702 visitors that would equal $38,518.74 in spending per diem - almost enough to feed one highly compensated battlefield consultant. Or it could put an entire squad of political hacks on the patronage rolls.

There's more from this sales effort, a report called "Blue, Gray, and Green" here.

History is such a burden, so alien to the people who live amidst it and such a general hindrance to progress I wonder if even the ancient formula of shrines= pilgrims = money will avail the preservationists.

And if this argument fails to grab their attention, where is the next lower rung on this ladder?