Times Investigative Editor Marc Chase earned the company-wide Lee Spirit Award for his work honoring local Civil War veterans.
What began in fall 2010 as an in-depth reporting effort to tell the stories of Northwest Indiana’s contributions and sacrifices during the Civil War has become a major ongoing historical preservation and tourism initiative restoring Civil War gravestones and markers, spearheaded by Chase.
“The project is a culmination of a lot of hard work by many region volunteers, key agencies and businesses. It has been our honor to help memorialize the brave men who fought – most in volunteer regiments – to preserve the Union in the bloodiest and most pivotal of our nation’s wars," Chase said.
The Lee Spirit Award is part of the 2012 Lee President's Awards at Lee Enterprises, the parent company of The Times Media Co. Chase's award recognizes outstanding personal commitment to the company and the people it serves.
“The magnificent work we honor with these awards underscores the vital role we play every day for our audiences, advertisers and communities,” said Mary Junck, chairman, president and CEO of Lee Enterprises. “In reviewing these accomplishments, we’re inspired all over again and reminded how lucky we are to be in this business.”
The project launched the Calumet Region Civil War Preservation Project and a partnership with the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority in the creation of the South Shore Civil War Memorial Trail.
The volunteers have replaced nearly 80 worn, broken or missing marble headstones with new government-issued granite markers since Memorial Day 2011. The work has spanned nine cemeteries across Lake and Porter counties.
Also, new banners are going up marking trail locations at cemeteries, local museums with Civil War exhibits and region architectural icons related to the Civil War.