Sunday, September 27, 2015

GETTYSBURG - Just off the Road

On my recent visit to Pennsylvania, I visited my favorite place in the state - Gettysburg National Military Park.  Each time I visit, I find myself moved in ways that surprise me.  The National Park Service is doing an amazing job of maintaining this hallowed place in the condition that existed at the time of the battle.  There's a diorama created in 1884 that represents Pickett's Charge and high water mark of the confederacy.

 There are many monuments commemorating those who fought.  Each state that participated has erected a memorial with the most impressive being this one for Pennsylvania.

The most moving site for me is the Devil's Den, where Federal and Confederate troops attempted to take the ground between Little and Big Round Tops.  The pictures taken after the battle include bodies strewn among the rocks. 

In my family archives is a letter written by one of my ancestors who took part in various Civil War battles.  But there's more than that connection for me when I visit Gettysburg.  As I stand where Abraham Lincoln once stood and read the words of his address, I realize that the phrase "freedom is not free" is truth personified here on this hallowed ground.

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