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Simply a visitor

Recently in the Hampton area, a friend took me to visit the Fort. I have been counseling our troops for the past 5 years. I have been feeling some compassion fatigue lately. My son is deployed on his second tour. He is my only child. Sometimes my heart nearly fails within me, due to the brokenness I have seen in thousands of our warriors and in my own son. I walked around the fort and remembered why we are continuing to fight for our freedom. We can’t give up on freedom’s call. Too many before us have given all to protect it for my generation and those to come. Thank you for preserving what happened there and allowing weary ones to come here and remember. Let Freedom Ring.

– Dr. LuAnn Callaway

My First Home

My life literally started at Ft. Monroe as I was born in the old post hospital. L&D was in the attic! When our father retired from the Army in 1962 we returned to Hampton to live; it was my mother’s childhood home. Her father, Daniel Allen Anthony, was the post engineer at Ft. Monroe in the 30’s and 40’s and helped save some of the old gun batteries during his tenure. Also he built the first Officer’s Beach Club- it was a log structure intended only to be used during the summer. The original fireplace is still part of the current building. As a teen I attended Girl Scouts meetings in one of the case mates, spent almost every summer day either at the Beach Club or Dog Beach, and attended many 4th of July concerts and fireworks displays. Even though I never physically live at Ft. Monroe, in my heart it is as much my home as any place I’ve ever lived.

– Ann Bartley Pinner

Governor Bob McDonnell Issues Independence Day Statement

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today in advance of tomorrow’s Independence Day holiday.

“It was a Virginian, Richard Henry Lee, who 237 years ago brought forth a resolution stating ‘Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.’ That resolution led to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, by Virginia’s second governor, Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration, adopted on July 4, 1776, marks the birth of American freedom, and the timeless principles that continue to govern this great nation: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“Tomorrow, Americans will continue to celebrate our independence with fireworks, parades and picnics. As we celebrate with our family, friends and neighbors, let us also pause to remember our service members who have gone before us while protecting our great nation. And let us also recognize the brave men and women who continue to protect our freedom and liberty, both at home and around the world, and pray for their safe return. May we never forget, freedom is not free.

“Tomorrow, in recognition of our active, reserve and National Guard service members, their families and all veterans living in Virginia, Maureen and I will be attending the first annual ‘Fourth at the Fort’ open house at the Fort Monroe Freedom Support Center. The Freedom Support Center, a Department of Veteran Services program, developed by Maureen and her tremendous team as part of her Serving Our Service Member Families initiative, provides assistance to military members such as one-stop access to benefits and programs and career planning and guidance, and support for families whose service members are deployed. During this event, we will celebrate those who have given so much to protect this nation, and those who are on the front lines of freedom still today, culminating with music and fireworks at the beach hosted by USAA and the Fort Monroe Foundation. I hope active duty and veteran military and their families in the area will join us for this patriotic event in honor of our men and women in uniform: our American heroes.

“I wish all Virginians a happy and safe Fourth of July.”

For more information about “Fourth at the Fort” please visit:

The Fourth at The Fort


Fort Monroe, Virginia (July 2, 2013) – Fort Monroe will be open to the public on the Fourth of July, continuing its long and illustrious history as a destination to celebrate the nation’s birthday. The following is an overview of activities and programs for the day.

Beaches and Fishing: Most of the beaches at Fort Monroe will be open to the public all day, with City of Hampton lifeguards on duty from 9 a.m. to dusk. The Engineer Wharf Fishing Pier will open at sunrise and close at noon.

The Casemate Museum will be open from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The Museum chronicles the military history of Fort Monroe and features the cell where Jefferson Davis was briefly imprisoned. It also highlights Major General Benjamin Butler’s Contraband of War decision that granted refuge to three escaped slaves, and tells the history of the U.S. Coastal Artillery Corps.  Fort Monroe National Monument Junior Ranger program information and passport stamps are also available at the Casemate.  Admission is free.

Military Appreciation:  Military Appreciation Day will be hosted by the Freedom Support Center at Fort Monroe.  This free event is open to active duty service members, veterans and their families.  Registered guests will attend the event from 2-6 p.m. The event area is located just north of the Outlook Beach parking lot in the Wherry Quarter area off Fenwick Road. Bring your picnic baskets, lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy this family event featuring games, prizes, music, and lots of activities and giveaways from local attractions and businesses.  Food vendors will also be on-site to purchase summer food favorites.  To gain access to the event, military families and veterans must show Military ID or Virginia Veterans ID card.  To register online visit:

Music: The Music by the Bay Summer Concert at Continental Park starts at 7 p.m. The U.S. Fleet Forces Band Wind Ensemble will perform.  Guests are encouraged to arrive early and park in designated areas. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets.  Boy Scout Troop 31 will be selling hot dogs, chips and cold drinks.  Admission is free.

Fireworks: The 15-minute display will begin at 9:30 p.m. and will launch from the area adjacent to the Irwin and Parrot batteries. Plan to arrive early, bring lawn chairs and blankets and park in designated areas.

Handicapped parking: Designated handicapped parking spaces will be limited.

Weather: Check our website, Facebook and Twitter for updates on the weather conditions.

The Fort Monroe Authority is offering some recommendations and instituting restrictions to insure that the Fourth of July experience here is enjoyable for everyone.

Restrictions and Recommendations:

  • Do not bring pets.
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed.
  • Coolers and picnic baskets are allowed, but no glass containers.
  • Grilling and open flames are not permitted. No personal fireworks are allowed.
  • Bicyclists are encouraged to ride in.  Please be considerate of pedestrians and not ride on the seawall or boardwalk.
  • Do not sit on the seawall or the sidewalk along the seawall. This area needs to be clear for pedestrian access and for the sight lines for those seated on the ground.
  • No skates or skateboarding on the seawall, sidewalks, or closed streets. An 800-foot area around the Irwin and Parrott batteries, including the Outlook Beach parking lot, will be closed to launch the fireworks.
  • North Beach, also referred to as Dog Beach, will be closed to the public.
  • Access inside the Fort will be limited to residents only after 5:30 p.m. No viewing will be allowed from atop the Fort. Hampton police will be patrolling the Bay to ensure boaters keep a safe distance during the fireworks display.

Road Closures:

The following roads will be closed at 5:30 p.m.

  • From the intersection of Fenwick Road and Ingalls Road to Griffith Road,

Fenwick Road.

  • Bernard Road will be closed to the public for pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
  • Residents with appropriate passes will have access through North Gate and Main Gate only.
  • Ruckman Road, North Gate and Main Gate.

At 9 p.m., no inbound access will be allowed on to Fort Monroe until fireworks have ended and traffic exiting the Fort has cleared.

For more information, contact Phyllis Terrell, 757-251-2754 or