Emboldened by the success of the 135th Commemoration of the Battle of Antietam, which raised $100,000 and set a record as the largest-ever re-enactment event, officials of four states say they'd like to do it again in 2000 - and on a grander scale - to promote the region's Civil War heritage.
We suggest that if they really want to do this, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia officials have to make a commitment of dollars and energy now, and be realistic about what can be accomplished.
As for the money, we recommend that if Washington County is serious about this venture and Civil War tourism in general, it should look into the purchase of a farm where this event - and future events like it - could be held.
Such a property, which could be purchased in part with Program Open Space funds, should be within easy driving distance of the interstates, but away from major housing developments that would spoil the illusion of being back in the 1860s. In between re-enactment events, it could be leased for grazing or crop production.