Antietam, Memorial Day 2010

Last day of Get Out Philly’s Memorial Day Weekend Bash near Harpers Ferry. After rafting, hiking & campfire, on Monday we headed to Antietam for our American Citizen duty on Memorial Day. My third visit to a National Battlefield. Got my pin! Im always amazed at the dedication & thoroughness of the records kept and detail of these places. Plaques by every field with lists of battles and commanders, and where they went and who they fought and how they did it and who one. I suppose it’s good that someone remembers.

90 degrees at midday. Adrienne reminded us that as hot as we were, the soldiers during the Cvil War summers wore long sleeved woolen uniforms and had to march for days in the heat. I certainly couldn’t imagine it!

I walked with the dog around the back of the Visitor’s Center. Up a small rise to a battleground and the West Virginia Appalachian mountains and valleys were breathtaking. Antietam was the last battle of the War, and right afterward Robert E. Lee surrendered. Twenty-three thousand soldiers died. Sad to think that so many people killed each other under these beautiful mountains, in the name of freedom. War is still the same thing, death in the name of freedom, murder under glorious blue skies, destruction of national treasures. Not American maybe, but treasures to someone. I don’t quite understand it today either.

As we drove through the rolling hills on the tour, down to Burnsides’ Bridge where the Union held off the Confederates, past the standard monuments from each state, naming and honoring the dead, the song our guide taught us on the ghost tour last night about John Brown was echoing through my head, with the chorus “Glory, Glory Hallelujah….” Prayers for the soldiers past and present, thanks for your sacrifice.

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