Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I'm back from my annual pilgrimage.

I honor the men on both sides.I drive the Battlefield, getting out and walking (this year using a walking stick to save my back) until the twinges start and then head back to the car. I play an audiotape of the Battlefield tour and when parked, read a book about the individual battles that make up the single largest military engagment in Northern America - maybe the Western Hemisphere.

I walk the town to honor the citizens of this small village - citizens who had to bear the burden of the dead and wounded after the armies departed.

I walk the cemetaries - the Military Cemetary where Lincold gave the Gettysburg Address and the Evergreen Cememtary where those citizens are buried - to honor all, soldier and citizen, who served on those fateful days.

Most people go to Gettysburg for that - some do not:
The parents who allow their small children to run around the National Cemetary, screaming.
The teenagers who pout and whine at their parents while walking the Battlefield.
The people who crawl over the rocks of Devil's Den and yell down to their friends...
I could go on, but I would sound like an old crock - and maybe I am.
Those people don't understand that they can perform their oafish behavior because of the men who died here that day. They have the freedom to act disrespectful because of all the men who have died for this country in all the wars.
Shouldn't that alone earn our respect and muffle the noise, the shouts, the pouts, the stupidity - at least for a few hours of one day.
Remember what they did here.


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