Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) on Wednesday hailed Wal-Mart Inc.'s decision to withdraw its plan to build a super store on the site of a Civil War battleground where thousands of Vermont and Texas troops perished.
The bipartisan pair of Congressmen have fought to protect Virginia's Wilderness Battlefield since the company first proposed to develop within the boundaries of the historic site.
"The Wilderness Battlefield is a sacred site for Vermonters, Texans and all Americans. The battlefield marks the sacrifice of so many soldiers, whose memory we must cherish," Welch and Poe said in a joint statement. "We appreciate Wal-Mart's decision to build elsewhere and we applaud the leadership and advocacy of those who fought to preserve this important national landmark."
Welch and Poe first wrote Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke in February 2009, urging him to take action to preserve this vital piece of history. The Congressmen took to the House floor together in March to reiterate their opposition and toured the site in May to mark the 145th anniversary of the Battle of the Wilderness. While there, Welch and Poe visited monuments to the Vermont and Texas troops who perished during the battle.