“Gettysburg's New Battle: Saving the Stone Soldiers” will premiere at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13 on WQED-TV and will be streamed on the Internet at www.wqed.org at the same time. An encore showing will be televised at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, the 145th anniversary of Lincoln's delivery of the Gettysburg Address.
The new program will incorporate portions of the earlier half-hour feature into an hour-long format that includes interviews with Mr. Readshaw, who founded the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project in 1997 to preserve the monuments and markers on the Adams County battlefield honoring the Pennsylvanians who fought in the 1863 battle.
The monuments project raised funds to repair and clean the more than 140 Pennsylvania monuments and markers on the battlefield, most of which were erected by the state legislature and veterans of the battle.
Having raided the funds for immediate needs, Rep. Readshaw's organization, nicknamed “Readshaw's Raiders,” now is taking donations to create an endowment fund for each of the monuments to provide future routine maintenance, and he hopes the new documentary will stimulate contributions.
“With the nation's economy hurting, and funding of such entities as the Gettysburg National Military Park getting even tighter, it is even more vital that we establish these perpetual care endowments to ensure that maintenance is kept up to date,” Mr. Readshaw said. “Without the work ensured by the trusts, the monuments will be subject to continuing deterioration to the point that eventually we could be back to where we were 10 years ago with broken and stained features that do not reflect respect for the men who fought there or for preserving their patriotic legacy for the future.”
Information about the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project can be obtained by contacting Rep. Readshaw's local office at 412-881-4208 or email at Gettysburg@pahouse.net.