I just finished judging a National History Day competition at the Heinz History Center for my 14th year. Western Pennsylvania gets one of the largest numbers of contestants in grades six to 12 in the 50 states each year, which was true again this year. At age 80, I am still involved in the study of history and especially of Pennsylvania, one of the most historically significant states in the union.
I read the article indicating the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission may close the Fort Pitt and Bushy Run museums because of budget considerations ("Threatened Museums Look to Partners," March 20). What a shame! This is one of the most historical regions of our nation in terms of what is now the United States of America and yet we are so busy worrying about where we are going and what we stand for as a nation today.
Western Pennsylvania and its early settlers were dynamic adventurers, risk-takers and believers in this country's potential and validated it by their behaviors, and yet the governor and others are willing to dismantle the historical artifacts of the area, removing them from history, because the budget cannot handle them. Like the Governor's School programs, so productive in offering potential scholars to the state, these cuts would take the extraordinary history of this region off the books for young and old alike.
The parents, students and teachers of the area who turn out each year to portray Western Pennsylvania historical significance in the success of our nation should be commended, and the schools that encourage the study of history should be recognized for their positive efforts of pride in nation.