It's nice to get the recognition (and an occasional perk or two) from being a Color Bearer, but that is purely incidental to the sense of satisfaction one derives from leaving a legacy, which is why I contribute.
Marc Nicholson, Color Bearer
Color Bearer Marc Nicholson
American Battlefield Trust: What moved you to first give to our organization?
Marc N.: After retiring back to Washington, DC from the US diplomatic service, I discovered the American Battlefield Trust (then the "Civil War Trust") a few years later through membership in the Central Virginia Battlefield Trust (CVBT), which one year sponsored a tour of the Brandy Station battlefield guided by the incredible local preservationist Clark B. Hall I was so offended by the gross McMansion blemishing the key hill (Fleetwood Hill) on this historic yet also exquisitely beautiful pastoral terrain, that I pledged to Clark a very hefty sum to tear down that house should the land ever be acquired. It soon was, by the Trust, and so the Trust and I were off to the races together. (I have the front door handle of that demolished McMansion as a souvenir gift!). I soon learned that the Trust is a "lean and mean" organization (very low ratio of overhead to actual program outlays), that its staff are absolutely passionate about what they do, and I thought battlefield preservation offered a "three-for-one" benefit from my contributions: respect for the fallen dead; preservation of key American history; and conservation of open spaces for future public recreation or at least open breathing space, especially along the Eastern Seaboard which is becoming a dense megalopolis from Boston to Richmond.
What is your favorite battlefield you’ve visited?
My favorite battlefield is Antietam, because of its historic significance (we can debate whether it or Gettysburg was the more important engagement!), and for its gorgeous unspoiled pastoral beauty, since it's still too far from DC for suburban sprawl to have arrived yet. I have been privileged to assist the American Battlefield Trust with land acquisition projects there.
What do you enjoy most about being a Color Bearer?
It's nice to get the recognition (and an occasional perk or two) from being a Color Bearer, but that is purely incidental to the sense of satisfaction one derives from leaving a legacy, which is why I contribute. There are many charitable causes out there, but there are very few where one can make a TRULY lasting difference. Land conservation is one of them. Remember what Scarlett O'Hara's father Gerald said in the movie "Gone With the Wind?": "It's the land, Scarlett...land is the only thing that lasts." He was right.
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