Multipurpose comes to ground zero

The core problem with state and federal management of Civil War battlefields is embodied in the policy of multipurposing killing ground for recreation, sports, nature conservancy, public celebrations, you name it.

Civil War conservationists, having no idea that this might pose moral or ethical problems to remembrance, actually encourage public ownership of battlefield land.

This Civil War issue, studiously ignored by Civil War buffs, now comes to haunt U.S. society at large as the government prepares plans for the site of the old World Trade Center in New York City. In the irreduceable logic of public utility, more purposes are better than fewer, and the authorities are brimming with plans for the disaster area. "Nobody is coming to this place to learn about Ukranian democracy and be inspired by the courage of Tibetan monks," a survivor said.

But the public servant begs to differ. In fact, the site will apparently host displays of American atrocities through history:

"But when Cavuto asked, specifically, whether the museum would feature "atrocities Americans have committed," Tofel repeatedly refused a direct answer. "Atrocities is such a loaded word," he stammered. . .
The victims' families are stunned because they don't follow battlefield preservation and because discussion of the permissible uses of Civil War sites has been kept painfully simple: no houses or shops on the land; no casinos nearby. Apart from these three little rules, Civil War preservationists give a powerful impression of not caring how consecrated soil might stay consecrated.

I think the survivors will beat city hall on this and with some luck, shape the American view on what is permitted in all such cases.

ACW preservationists may then graduate to the next level of thinking about policy and hallowed ground.

(Hat tip to Spinning Clio.)