Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Four Score and Seven Years Ago

We had the greatest excuse to get out of the city and head for the fresh air of Gettysburg; good friends from Salt Lake in the vicinity, us longing to catch up with those from our home town and a chance to take in a little history. Becky, Mike and their little guy Dylon were in Princeton visiting her sister and so all took to the road and met on some middle ground to catch up and reminisce.

I can’t begin to tell you how great it was to see some familiar faces, and just start into conversation like we had never left; we started out with lunch, some catching up and mapped out all that we wanted to take in while discovering this onslaught of American history. Fortunately Mike had been here before, so he was great and navigating our caravan through the auto tour, making for a breeze and more talk time amongst us all.

There is such a surreal feeling standing on the battlefield of Gettysburg, knowing it was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War and honoring the reverence for those that all lost their lives, regardless of what side that they were on. Looking out over the vast battlefield, and visualizing the heartache of war, especially one that was so violent and face to face is terrifying, the cost of lives that took to get our nations people to value freedom for all; seeing Gettysburg, the battlefield really honed in the words of Lincoln and gave such a deeper meaning to the Gettysburg address. It is something you really take to heart, it has an emotional aspect and a new meaning, it becomes more than just the words I memorized as a child in school.

 "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate- we can not consecrate- we can not hallow- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." 

                                                                              Abraham Lincoln November 1863

If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit this National Park, I highly recommend that you do; it truly will give one perspective on the value of freedom and life. Also, the town is adorable and I am now thinking I need to manage a way to get it on our list of places to stay on our journey; I can’t even imagine growing up in the town of Gettysburg, you would just grow up being a history buff.  

1 comment:

  1. I so enjoy reading all about those places that are so dear to my heart. All the history in both places you visited on this leg of your trip hold so many memories for me from the time I was young and visited Gettysburg and seeing those places we learned about in class to all of the wonderful history in Washington D.C.. I want to thank you so much for visiting my parents grave. I had tears in my eyes a I read how touched you were at the soldiers who guard this most revenant place. I feel that they are at rest in the most special place I can imagine. I'm sure you will think of things to add as you move forward and have more time. I know the feeling about never feeling like you have seen it all. We lived there for 12 years and visited every time we had guests taking them all around D.C. and Virginia to Mt. Vernon. Still I feel we never did see everything. The most special time to go there is during Cherry Blossom time. I totally agree with that. I'm so glad you were able to be there during that beautiful time to see it in all its glory. Keep on having a wonderful time. We live vicariously through you. Love and Hugs.