Saturday, May 12, 2012

Gettysburg

We took a day trip to explore Gettysburg together. The weather was gorgeous; those we met kept talking about what a wonderful day it was.
We began with a walking tour of the cemetery. Our guide shared so many facts about the three day battle. The magnitude of human life lost or injured was startling.  We talked about the lack of sanitation, medical aid or expertise and the fact that the soldiers walked there. (I was reminded me of the book I just finished - My Name Is Mary Sutter). It is so hard to comprehend this fight within the realm of our world today.
Our volunteer docent told us about the fence separating the National Cemetery from the town's cemetery. It came from the White House during Lincoln's tenure. He also described the significance of the Soldier's National Monument and its five carved statues. The finale was a recitation of Lincoln's 272 word, 2 minute address which was made there during the war - The Gettysburg Address. The older kiddos listened to it all. They were particularly struck by the idea of what it must have smelled like after the battle. Aine was most interested in the fence, which is in perfect condition after so many years.
We then toured the area by car for the auto tour. We stopped at various locations to see the area. It is much more wooded now. We talked about how the military used the hills and valleys to their advantage. Dave marveled at how big of an area it was. I was amazed at how costly it was in turns of human equity and land. We climbed to the top of viewing towers to get an idea of the enormity of the place. We noticed how many cannons there were.
The kiddos obtained trading cards with photos depicting people and places from the battle. They were given one at the beginning by a ranger and told they would earn the rest after they toured if they knew a thing or two about Gettysburg. Armed with newly found knowledge, they asked and received their cards. 





4 comments:

  1. Just happened on your blog and am now your newest follower...I loved this post about Gettysburg. Gettysburg to me is like sacred hallowed, ground -- when we visited some years back, I was pregnant with my youngest son and was so moved by the story of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the battle of Little Round Top that we named our son Joshua Lawrence. Thanks for the post and the great pictures.

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  2. Awesome! I grew up 20 minutes from here and love visiting there. There is so much to see. If you want to go back while we're in PA this summer, let me know and we'll meet you there. There's definitely more than a days worth to do in Gettysburg.
    (Too bad my mom didn't know you were that close, she would have had you over for a meal, or to do your laundry..;)

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  3. Gettysburg is just stunning. We were in complete awe when we visited last summer.

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