Sometimes, It's Easy to Hate Wal-Mart, Like When They Pave Over Historic Sites


The Battle of the Wilderness. 16,000 Union soldiers were killed, wounded, or captured by the Confederates. Maybe 10,000 Confederates were casualties or captured.

We keep saying that it is getting harder to hate Wal-Mart, but then they so often show that when it comes down to the business of building stores and paving over farmland, they don't care what they destroy.

Take the quarter million square foot development they want to build within the wilderness battlefield across the road from the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park in Orange County, Virginia.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation says:


Wal-Mart’s project would irrevocably harm the battlefield, undermine the visitor’s experience of the National Park, and open the door for more incompatible large-scale development at this vulnerable site.

Economist/ actor Ben Stein, of all people, writes in the American Standard:

Frankly, I wonder if the nice people in Arkansas who run Wal-Mart have thought this through. This battlefield is incredibly important environmentally and historically and emotionally. It reeks of the blood of men fighting for causes they considered sacred. How can it possibly be that it will be used even in part for a Wal-Mart Super Store? Wal-Mart is a great American institution. I am, as noted, about as devout a fan as there is in the national media. But a store is a store and blood is blood. There is plenty of other land in the area that is not historically sensitive.

Even the Governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, has jumped into the fray, writing the local council that approved the Wal-Mart:

Fully respecting the authority of the Orange County Board of Supervisors to approve or deny Wal-Mart’s proposal,and appreciating the Board’s commitment to both the economic and cultural well-being of Orange County and the Commonwealth, we strongly encourage your Board to work closely with Wal-Mart to find an appropriate alternate site for the proposed retail center in the vicinity of the proposed site yet situated outside the boundaries of Wilderness Battlefield and out of view from Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

Respect for the environment is more than hugging trees, it is about our heritage, about the cultural landscapes that define what our nations have been, what they are, and what we want them to be for our grandchildren.

You don't pave it over, especially if you have pretenses of being a responsible, green corporation.

I know how I vote in our survey until they reverse this decision.

More on Wal-Mart:

Is It Getting Harder to Hate Wal-Mart?
Wal-Mart's Sustainability Index: The Greenest Thing Ever to Happen to Retail?
Wal-Mart Reports Its Global Carbon Emissions in 2009 Sustainability Report

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