President Donald Trump donated his first presidential salary toward the restoration of two projects at the Antietam National Battlefield, a Civil War national park in Maryland. After his initiative, others stepped up to donate as well.
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke accepted Trump’s first quarter presidential salary check on April 3, according to The Department of the Interior’s website, which totaled $78,333. After that amount was announced, others stepped in to help “preserve, and protect America’s historic battlefields.”
First, an anonymous donor pledged 22,000 to add to President Trump’s donation, bringing the total to just over 100,000. Then, the Civil War Trust and the National Park Foundation along with the Save Historic Antietam Foundation pledged additional funds, bringing the total donation to $263,545.
President Trump appears to have heard the American people’s indignant cries over Confederate monuments and statues being removed solely on the basis of “hurt” feelings. He listened when the American people said they wanted history, and especially the Confederate roots of the country to be left in tact as both a reminder and a lesson.
What Trump started with his monumental donation created a snowball effect that. Secretary Zinke announced Wednesday that $7.2 million in additional grants were received to help honor America’s history.
“As both the Secretary of the Interior and a military veteran, I’m deeply honored and humbled to deliver the donation to Antietam National Battlefield on behalf of President Trump,” Zinke said in a statement today.
“Visiting the hallowed ground the day after Independence Day is incredibly moving and it underscores the importance of why we must preserve these historic grounds. The President’s donation will allow generations of Americans to learn about our history and heritage on this sacred site,” Zinke’s statement continued.
Commenting on this widespread desire of preservation, Antietam National Battlefield Superintendent Susan Trail stated, “Antietam National Battlefield is honored to be the beneficiary of President Trump’s generous donation. We are also gratified by the additional outpouring of support from our partners, which together with the President’s gift will enable us to complete two high priority preservation maintenance projects on the battlefield for the benefit of the American people.”
“The donation will restore the historic Newcomer House on the Antietam battlefield, and will underwrite the replacement of 5,000 linear feet of deteriorated rail fencing along the Hagerstown Turnpike where some of the most intense fighting of the battle occurred,” the DOI statement read.
Hats off to Trump and our fellow Americans for doing their part to keep our nation’s history in tact and for showing confederate statue removers that history won’t be destroyed without a fight.