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A sad town in the sunlight

Gettysburg - station signGettysburg, Pennsylvania. Famous in my mind from the phrase "The Gettysburg Address", but not somewhere I had stopped / visited in the past. But yesterday we had an hour or two to stop in the town, to have a look around.


Monuments on the battlefieldIt was at Gettysburg, as recently as early July 1863, that a bloody battle in the American Civil War was fought. And around - ALL around - are monuments and interpretation signs telling us of the battles in that area, of bravery - perhaps of foolhardiness - and of the death of hundreds - sometimes thousands - of men in this or that skirmish.

What a sad, thought provoking place. The weather yesterday was hot, the sun was shining, the tourists were brightly dressed and the tour buses were rolling. And the monuments are exquisite, beautifully made, well maintained but - what a sad place.

Abraham Lincoln arrived in town, by train, in November 1863 (just a few months after the battle) and made his speech - his address - too. The full text is on a big banner that runs all around the horseshoe of the Travel Lodge - we noticed it there as we drove out of town - and we wondered at how history has been almost trivialised by the tourism, the shops selling memorabilia, and where you can lunch on "confederate fries"


I know more that I did - but still I feel I know very little. I'm left wondering at the futility of war, especially civil war where brother fights brother. Of the enormous loss of life and ... for what? I really know not.

The store cat - good ole country store, near Gettysburg Further pictures, including some away from the battlefield, are here. And from later in the day, I also offer you some Potomac Crossing Pictures where we crossed from Maryland into Virginia.

(written 2008-09-22)

 
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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