President Trump fulfilled another promise this week, donating his first paycheck as president toward the restoration of the Antietam National Battlefield, a unit of the National Park Service. In an interview shortly after the election, President-Elect Trump told 60 Minutes that he wouldn’t take a salary as president.
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the donation this week:
President Trump’s Salary and Matching Funds to Restore Antietam National Battlefield
July 5, 2017
While visiting Antietam National Battlefield in Western Maryland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced that President Donald J. Trump’s first quarter salary donation would be donated toward the restoration of two projects at the fabled Antietam National Battlefield. Secretary Zinke also announced $7.2 million in additional grants to help identify, preserve, and protect America’s historic battlefields. The Secretary was joined by representatives from Antietam, the Civil War Trust, the National Park Foundation, and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.
After it was announced that President Trump would donate his first quarter salary to the National Park Service, an anonymous donor pledged $22,000 to bring the President’s $78,333 donation to an even $100,000. The Civil War Trust and the National Park Foundation, and Save Historic Antietam Foundation have also pledged funds bringing the total gift to $263,545. The donation will restore the historic Newcomer House on the Antietam battlefield, and will underwrite the replacement of 5,000 linear feet of deteriorated rail fencing along the Hagerstown Turnpike where some of the most intense fighting of the battle occurred.
“As both the Secretary of the Interior and a military veteran, I’m deeply honored and humbled to deliver the donation to Antietam National Battlefield on behalf of President Trump,” said Secretary Zinke. “Visiting the hallowed ground the day after Independence Day is incredibly moving and it underscores the importance of why we must preserve these historic grounds. The President’s donation will allow generations of Americans to learn about our history and heritage on this sacred site.”
“It is an honor to be standing here today with Secretary Zinke for these exciting announcements,” remarked Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer. “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with the Department of the Interior to protect America’s endangered battlefield parks, and look forward to working with President Trump and Secretary Zinke to preserve these irreplaceable national treasures.”
John L. Nau III, chairman emeritus of the Civil War Trust and a director of the National Park Foundation, noted the benefits of battlefield preservation: “We have in Secretary Zinke a leader who ‘gets it.’ He understands the many benefits of protecting battlefields, which serve as outdoor classrooms for teaching history, as places of remembrance to honor America’s fallen, as heritage tourism destinations that bolster local economies, and as training grounds for the modern U.S. military.”
“Antietam National Battlefield is honored to be the beneficiary of President Trump’s generous donation,” stated Superintendent Susan Trail. “We are also gratified by the additional outpouring of support from our partners, which together with the President’s gift will enable us to complete two high priority preservation maintenance projects on the battlefield for the benefit of the American people.”? (Department of the Interior)
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The Bloodiest One Day Battle in American History
23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of savage combat on September 17, 1862. The Battle of Antietam ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s first invasion into the North and led to Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. (Antietam National Battlefield)
Antietam National Battlefield is located in western Maryland. For more information, visit their website.