Over 1,000 Veterans Call on President Trump to Defend National Monuments

"I urge our commander in chief to consider how much these places mean to American servicemen and women and reverse this course of action.”
"I urge our commander in chief to consider how much these places mean to American servicemen and women and reverse this course of action.” (Unsplash/Paulette Wotten)

"Monuments embody the America we fought to protect."

WASHINGTON, DC– More than 1,000 veteran American military leaders—former soldiers, sailors, Marines, Guardsmen and airmen— including retired high-ranking officers—signed a letter to the commander in chief, urging him to "protect the public lands and traditions for which we fought, specifically by maintaining the boundaries and protections of the national monuments that were reviewed by Secretary Zinke." As a response, American Monuments Alliance has created an advertisement detailing the letter, which ran in today's edition of The Hill. The full letter is available on americasmonuments.com/veterans.

These veterans write that they "have dedicated our lives to the protection of this great nation. It is only right that we continue our service as advocates for and stewards of its public lands."

The veterans are concerned that protections might be reduced for other monuments named in an Interior Department report, including Cascade-Siskiyou in Oregon and California, Gold Butte in Nevada, New Mexico's Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine.

"These protected monuments are a natural legacy that belongs to all Americans," said retired Admiral Michael Mathis. "National monuments preserve our heritage, our history and the natural beauty of our great country. I served to protect core American values, and conservation is undoubtedly one of them."

"Our national monuments and public lands have been a big part of my homecoming," said Bishop Garrison, who graduated from West Point and served two deployments in Iraq. "I urge our commander in chief to consider how much these places mean to American servicemen and women and reverse this course of action."

The former service members that signed the letter represent an important segment of the American public who support the country's national monuments. During the national monument review, roughly three million comments were submitted; with an overwhelming 99 percent in support of keeping national monument protections in place.

American Monuments Alliance is a grassroots coalition of conservative leaders who support the protection of National Monuments and protected lands.


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