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Future History Center has final groundbreaking event

By Savanah Ramsey, posted 3 weeks ago

On Thursday, June 2, the North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center was celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony. Spectators all across Fayetteville and Cumberland County came to support this momentous occasion. 

“It’s an honor to have you all here,” said Mac Healy, Chair, Board of Directors for the North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center Foundation. “More importantly, your support throughout this whole process has been critical.”

The ceremony kicked off with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by words from several special speakers. These speakers included Dr. James R. Leutze, Co-Chair, History Center Board of Advisors, Representative John Szoka in a statement, and Dr. James A. Anderson, Co-Chair, History Center Board of Advisors.

For more than ten years, the North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center Foundation have been trying to bring this center to life.

“We have put a lot of effort and thought into this, and I think that the City of Fayetteville and the State of North Carolina are going to be very proud of what we have accomplished,” said Leutze. “History is a living science of trying to figure out why things happened, and we’re constantly getting new information. We have new perspectives or people as they grow older and learn more.”

All around the groundbreaking site, there were signs posted that carried the stories of individuals impacted by not only the Civil War, but also the Reconstruction period.

“You can see for yourself the physical progress that has been made here,” said Szoka in a statement. “What is not visible is the progress that’s been made and collecting stories of people through the American Civil War. Men and women, all the people who claim North Carolina as home, these stories are important because they humanize the history of North Carolina during one of the most difficult periods in our country’s history.” 

The featured speaker was Dr. Spencer Crew, Emeritus Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

“I have spent a lot of time working with museums and one of things we talked about a lot is the issue of what we call provenance and the idea of where did this come from and why is it important,” stated Crew.

In his speech, Crew elaborated on the importance of understanding the stories of those affected by not only the Civil War but also the Reconstruction Period, regardless of whether or not the stories were from those in enslavement.

“History can offer to us even more than knowledge, they can help make us more empathetic towards one another as we go through life. This will also make us more sympathetic to others stories that exist and understand that there are lots of parts to understanding history,” Crew concluded. 

In closing remarks, an announcement was made that another name was sent in to be approved by the North Carolina Secretary for the facility, although it has not been finalized. The name sent to be approved was the North Carolina Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction History Center.

The event concluded with a box lunch and Healy, Crew, and Mary Lynn Bryan, vice chair of the board of directors, breaking ground for the History Center.

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