No, I am not referring to forest and prairie fires, although many more than 100,000 acres have burned this year. The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary today 25 August 2016–parks, monuments, battle grounds, landmarks of immense beauty, mind-calming solace, and personal sacred places. Yellowstone Park was the first to be officially designated and provided with federal protection.
Whatever our political opinion about the reservation of private geography for the public good, we find it difficult not to applaud the effort to make America’s beautiful places available to all. Overuse, like over-grazing, can ruin something truly lovely. And the legacy of the system is that future generations can enjoy these places too.
What fun it is to see families introduce their favorite spots to children and grandchildren. My Dad took me to Yellowstone; I took my daughter and grandson, and she in turn took her sons. And Old Faithful still erupts on schedule for us all.
Struggling for funds, if you have a chance, log onto their website and make a donation to help keep maintenance and repairs current. Public money has no better purpose than to provide for the public enjoyment–a real break from the hectic world in which we live.
A close friend of mine volunteers on a regular basis in the Park. And she became interested in the only grave–the young wife of the first director. In her research, she tracked this young woman to her origins in Wisconsin and discovered that personal letters, diaries, and photographs had survived in the attic of the home where she grew up!
Are the heirlooms and mementos of your ancestors still waiting for you to claim them in someone’s attic or basement or garage? Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com
PS All over this land are precious, special moments waiting for you to discover them–celebrate America this 100th year of the National Park Service.