Last week, a contract totaling more than $378,000 was awarded to develop and manufacture signs for Civil War-era cemeteries, including "18 unique interpretive signs for Confederate lots." The contract was awarded by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The "interpretive signs" provide context and analysis of the information presented as opposed to strictly informational or directional signs.
In the original solicitation for bids, the project is described this way:
The scope of work for this project includes, but is not limited to providing all labor, material and design services needed to analyze and distill into one to three interpretive signs to be placed in 79 Civil War-era National Cemeteries and 24 other NCA-managed cemeteries. The purpose of this contract is to procure one generic interpretive sign for 79 National Cemeteries and 18 unique interpretive signs for Confederate lots; with up to 90 unique interpretive signs for the same National Cemeteries. The content of generic interpretive signs to be produced has been developed in draft by NCA; the content for the other signage to be produced will require research, development and design by the contractor.
Care of the cemeteries falls under the National Cemetery Administration, which is a division of the VA.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) largely escaped the automatic budget cuts, widely known as sequestration, that hit in March. As the Washington Post reported at the time, a bipartisan consensus spared the VA's $140 billion budget from the legislation.
The new signage may relate to the Civil War Sesquicentennial, which runs from 2011 through 2015.