The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of GettysburgPosted: July 11, 2013
Last weekend, for three days, we attended events commemorating the Battle of Gettysburg including lectures, a trip to the actual battle fields, and the reenactment of key battles. Because it was the 150th anniversary, the scope and size of this event was staggering: over 10,000 re-enactors and over 100,000 spectators flooded a farm south of Gettysburg to immerse themselves in this important historical moment.
It was a hot weekend, marked by a cloudless sky and, on the last day, a torrential downpour. The weather, in many ways, mirrored what the soldiers, medial staff, and towns people endured during the three-day battle that scarred the land and served as a particularly important moment in the Civil War.
From the grandstand, we watched the re-enactors stretch across the fields out in front of us, firing in long volleys that echoed across the smoky landscape. Cannons blazed and cracked along the ridge lines and men crumpled to the ground as their battalions reformed and marched on. It was impressive and sad. Seeing history come to life was at once marvelous, almost magical, and incredibly hard to watch at the same time. It made the struggle and the suffering and the death that much more real.
It left us quiet in a way we ought to be more often.