by Michael dEstries
Categories: Causes, Home
Tags: .


Academy Award-winner Robert Duvall is not taking lightly the proposed construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter within a mile of the Wilderness Battlefield in Virginia. The 78-year-old actor has teamed up with two Congressmen to oppose the big box store and help preserve the sanctity of the area. From the article,

Mr. Duvall and others, including Reps. Ted Poe, Texas Republican, and Peter Welch, Vermont Democrat, cited the sanctified ground of battle in arguing against the Wal-Mart. “Those young men who died, many of them are still out there in graves known only by God,” Mr. Poe said. He said 60 percent of Texas’ 800-man force at the Wilderness was killed or wounded. For Vermonters, the death toll of 1,234 on May 5, 1864, amounted to 16 percent of the state’s total combat deaths for the war. “This hallowed ground must be protected and preserved so that future generations of Vermonters can appreciate our state’s crucial role in saving the Union,” Mr. Welch said in prepared remarks.

Wal-Mart has argued that its proposed 138,000-square-foot store will not diminish the battlefield — but we have to wonder if it’s really worth the PR battle to go through with this. The company has been working hard to change its image — especially on the green side of things — but placing a Supercenter so close to a national historic battlefield just seems in poor taste. As the article mentions, Disney tried something similar several years ago and got sqaushed by the bad press.

I guess we’ll see what kind of fight Duvall and his connections put up.

Thanks to Erin for the tip!

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Erin Raw foods retreat

    NP… Anything I can do to bright to light stories about Wal Mart.. They built a store literally in our back yard growing up (we had a gorgeous forest for years with deers and then land sold- walmart came animals scared, ran, died and we looked at a giant wal mart out our windows from then on. They left no trees by the way. Just paved it all to sh&t…


  • Robert W

    I do find it interesting that no one has mentioned the property owners yet. Is if fair to limit who they can sell their land to or what propose it can be put to?

    If the government or a citizen group is concerned about preserving these sites it is their responsibility to purchase the land from the current owner before it is sold to someone like Walmart. Lots of people will come out of the woodwork to complain about something like this. But how many are willing to put their money into the project?

    What you are wiling to monetarily support is always the best judge of a persons real commitment. I realize some have noting to give but time. I would suggest the time in question could be better spent organizing a citizen group to purchase the land you want to preserve.

  • Scott B

    What a joke. So Duvall is now the deciding factor on where WalMart, or anyone else for that matter, can build. This is crazy. If this is zoned properly, leave WalMart, and other companies alone. And we wonder why companies go overseas.

  • Erin Raw foods retreat

    ha. i remember when wal mart paved the forest behind me (and i did go into the store) and EVERY thing was made in the USA. Now nothing is made in the USA, and they treat their employees like crap. I think it would be difficult for them to move their business overseas when they sell products to us in a store. If you mean should they make their merchandise (the products they sell) overseas well they already do. It’s all cheap (some) cancer causing crap from CHINA


  • jamie lynn

    i think it is great whenever people speak out against huge corporations like Wal-mart that move into towns and destroy not only the ecology but the local economy as well. sure, they may supply 100 jobs, but what about all the jobs they negate by running smaller businesses out? local businesses can’t compete when their products aren’t made by foreign children in some sweatshop. america is turning into one giant strip mall, so good on anyone who tries to stop it.

  • erin Rawfoods Retreat

    well said JL,

    There have been expose’s on wal mart that show they open up in towns just to shut down the small stores then they close down. THEN they open in the next town (these are usually in rural areas) with a bigger store and know they don’t have any competition for miles. IT’s sick. They are sick. I hate when everything is closed at midnight and (yes it’s happened) i’ve just HAD to go there for something… rare but it happens ;(