Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"The beginning and end of the beginning?"

            It’s almost like the weeks are going faster than I can blog about them! Another workweek completed at Colonial National Historical Park means another post about how much I am learning about the National Park Service as well as my career path in criminal justice! This particular week was spent with the wonderful folks at the Historic Jamestown Visitor Center. Because I had an understanding of how the business works at the visitor center in Yorktown, I was more than ready to apply what I had learned at Jamestown.
            I overheard one of the interpretation rangers describe Colonial as “the beginning and end of the beginning” and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense: this park is so vital to the history of our country for two major reasons. The first permanent English settlement in North America was the beginning of our country’s development while the siege of Yorktown in the American Revolution virtually ended the war, granting us our independence. I learned so much about that particular span of history for our country and I am so glad that I did. Looking back, I am also so glad that I could experience the interpretation phase of the internship early on, so that I can learn all about what it is that I, as an LE ranger, will be protecting. Not only do the rangers here protect visitors and keep the park safe, but they make it a priority to respect and allow the interpretation division to do their jobs as well.

            My week at the Jamestown VC was full of warm greetings, conversations between visitors from across the country, and the ability to learn so much about the foundation of the United States. This site boasts one of the most influential pieces of land in American history, and visitors come from around the globe to see the original site of the fort that settlers built in 1607. The grounds are always populated with tours of the landscape and interpreters surrounded by visitors during any point of the day. I was also fortunate enough to meet the lead archaeologists at the dig sites on scene. Archaeologists have been (lawfully) conducting projects that uncover history that has been covered for centuries. Because of this, what we know about the settlement and beyond is constantly changing. The site is indeed full of living history.

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