Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

June 10, 2012

Cardin, others dedicate National Road Monument

Edwards, Grim and Bartlett speak

CUMBERLAND — The National Road tells the story of families who risked everything — braving the cold and carrying what they owned on their backs or in wagons — in search of a better life. And the story of the road holds a message for the future too, speakers said, on a hot Sunday afternoon at the National Road Monument Dedication Ceremony at Riverside Park.

For some of the speakers, that meant the history of their own families.

“I grew up beside the National Highway. My family’s business was because of the National Highway,” said Sen. George Edwards. The story of the four “Beitzel boys,” who emigrated from Germany, was a similar story of a move to the then-pioneer land of Western Maryland.

One of Delegate Wendell Beitzel’s ancestors came over without fare for the long trip across the seas. To pay his fare, he became an indentured servant.

Eventually, he and his youngest brother, Beitzel’s great grandfather, made their way across the westward path and later the National Road to settle in Garrett County.

The National Road is “a symbol of ... what our nation could become,” said Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim, by paying attention to rural communities and linking them together.

Speakers urged the crowd of about 175 to think about the future as well as the past.

“We need more connector roads,” Edwards said, referring to the North-South highway.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin agreed.

Completion of the North-South Highway would be “the greatest tribute to the National Road,” Cardin said.

The proposed road would run from Interstate 68 near Cumberland to Corridor H in Grant County, W.Va., and north into Pennsylvania, providing links to more rural areas of all three states.

“The National Road was the first federally financed road and it helped to shape our nation’s economic growth and development.  By connecting East to West, it helped our young nation unite a diverse country and facilitate the flow of commerce and federal authority to more western areas of our country,” said Cardin.  “As we celebrate this bicentennial, it should remind us of the importance of public investment in our nation’s infrastructure and how it can be a catalyst for economic growth and future prosperity.”

“We face some huge problems in Congress,” U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett said. But the story of building the road means “we can do this.”

“It was the fiber optic network of its day,” said Julianna Albowicz, who represented U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski at the ceremony.

The monument was largely the work of Cumberland City Planner David Umling. Umling designed the monument, Grim said. The memorial plaza surrounding the monument contains more than 200 engraved bricks purchased by area donors, according to city officials.

A replica of a 1811 U.S flag, with 15 stars, was raised after Grim and other officials cut the ribbon leading into the monument area.

Flags representing each state that the National Road passes through will soon be raised, encircling the American flag.

A time capsule including information about the ceremony will be placed in the ground to be opened in 2211.

Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 172, provided the color guard for the dedication ceremony.

The National Anthem was sung by Stevee Royce, Miss Francis Scott Key outstanding teen, and a student at Southern Garrett High School. Al Feldstein was the master of ceremonies. Wesley Mason, a Fort Hill graduate, performed a violin prelude. The ceremony concluded with a release of doves by Mike Reinhardt.

A unique moment was added when local musician Joe Spangler sang and played on his guitar the world premiere of a song written about the legacy of the road by composer Eric Kitchen.

The chorus is as follows:

“Though the path may change, there is but one. And a man must choose which way to go. Great hopes and dreams were lost and won, along the road to the Ohio.”

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Redman.asp.jpeg Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    KEYSER, W. Va. — A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • City woman charged in domestic call

    CUMBERLAND — A city woman was arrested Thursday evening after Cumberland Police investigated a domestic assault complaint in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

    April 18, 2014

  • Carlton.jpg Arrest made in alleged drug deal

    CUMBERLAND — A 25-year-old city man was arrested Thursday night after Cumberland Police observed him allegedly taking part in a drug deal on Columbia Street.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.

    April 17, 2014

  • DSC_0446.JPG Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident

    OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 17, 2014

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • City, county officials to talk baseball at work session

    CUMBERLAND — During today’s Allegany County Commission work session, a proposal to study the possibility of bringing a professional-level baseball team to the area will be vetted again, this time with participants from the city of Cumberland.

    April 17, 2014

  • EversolCody004.jpg Cody Eversole named Kelley Award winner

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
NDN Video