Hundreds of visitors and community and state leaders marked the 75th Anniversary of Shenandoah National Park at the Rededication Celebration held at Big Meadows on Saturday, June 25, 2011. As their predecessors had in 1936, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band treated the crowd to music before and during the one-hour ceremony. National Park Service Deputy Director for Operations Peggy O’Dell provided the keynote address. Following the formal program hundreds more people enjoyed special activities focusing on the park and neighboring communities.
The speakers were Warren County Administrator Doug Stanley, representing communities surrounding the park, Superintendent Martha Bogle and Northeast Regional Director Dennis Reidenbach. Kenneth Stroupe as Franklin D. Roosevelt gave excerpts from the original 1936 dedication, including: “…We seek to pass on to our children a richer land-a stronger Nation. And so, my friends, I now take great pleasure in dedicating Shenandoah National Park, dedicating it to this and succeeding generations of Americans for the recreation and for the re-creation which they shall find here.” Concluding the ceremony, Superintendent Bogle rededicated the park.
After the ceremony visitors enjoyed musical groups on the main stage, special ranger guided programs and hosted activity tents for family fun, exploring science and stewardship, and wilderness and backcountry stewardship. Visitors could also meet community representatives and park partners at the “Shenandoah Connections Tent.” Every employee of Shenandoah National Park worked to make the day a success and, with help from their partners and friends, it was.