Letter: Richard and Tracy Gillespie, Lovettsville

Editor: As public historians in Loudoun County for 47 and 36 years, respectively, we are disappointed that County Chair Randall and five of her fellow board members have so little respect for our county’s history and its relevance to the present, that they see no problem with reneging on their decision to continue funding the Loudoun Museum at $156,000 annually.   

One week ago, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to continue the museum’s funding; on May 5, these six supervisors, at Chair Randall’s insistence, changed their minds and pulled the funding, ostensibly because they felt the money could be better spent elsewhere during the COVID-19 crisis.

The power of stories from the past—especially our local stories of the various cultures who settled and lived in Loudoun—help us to thrive in today’s culturally diverse world. Museums and their collections and programs help to keep that past alive. History nurtures our identity, and museums like the Loudoun Museum educate our communities about that history. Museums help us understand the past and inspire us to solve today’s problems. We need museums; our community of Loudoun needs the Loudoun Museum so that we don’t forget our past and all of its lessons.  

Certainly, there are worthy organizations in dire need of funding because of COVID-19. How to fund them is the issue in a time of significant economic downturn. Putting one of our county’s longest-standing historical institutions at dire risk at a time when they’ve just begun to recover from earlier blows seems unwise, and certainly shows the value of Loudoun’s history, historical landscape, and historical institutions in the pecking order for these supervisors, despite whatever protestations they might offer. The wealthy County of Loudoun has found a way to help fund our small local museum since 1967; you’d think they could figure out a way to keep doing so now. Who does crushing the museum impress? This is a question we are left to ponder and draw our own conclusions.  

We’d like to thank Supervisors Buffington, Kershner, and Letourneau for their foresight in voting to keep the museum’s funding intact. We appreciate that you three, at least, value Loudoun’s history in action as well as word. 

Richard and Tracy Gillespie, Lovettsville 

One thought on “Letter: Richard and Tracy Gillespie, Lovettsville

  • 2020-05-12 at 9:19 am

    Good letter.

    Far left democrats are always uncomfortable with history. Be that as it may, there’s something deeper here behind Phyllis and her near hysterical culling of the museum. Everything; every single thing, is political in her mean-spirited partisan mind.

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