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Grave News, Issue #040 -- Reflecting on Gettysburg 150 Years Later
July 03, 2013
In addition, as an experiment, I've set up a twitter account for Colorado Cemeteries. If you have a twitter account, feel free to follow me @ColoradoCem.
Reflecting on Gettysburg 150 Years Later
The Battle of Gettysburg, considered to be the turning point of the Civil War, because 150 years ago on July 1, 1863 and raged for three days. When the cannons fell silent, and the horrible scene surveyed, nearly 9,000 soldiers lay dead.
The massive task of caring for the fallen prompted the purchase of lands surrounding the battlefield for a cemetery, and the plan for preserving the site as a monument to those lost started almost immediately, by early August.
The well-known Battle of Little Round Top took place on this very day those many years ago. Actions both heroic and terrible, by brave souls on both sides, have earned a piece of our shared history. In many ways, we remember the battle as much for its tragedy, as for the commemoration of the burial grounds in November of that year.
On that fall day, that well-known and beloved address, regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, was delivered by President Abraham Lincoln. That short simple address, emphasized the ideals of human equality, the sacrifices made for freedom, and the debt we owe those who "gave the last full measure of devotion" for the preservation of our nation.
It is these thoughts that have been swirling in my head as we go to celebrate Independence Day. It is a celebration of those ideals, of freedom, equality, the perseverance of individuals in cooperation with their countrymen to create a nation that is greater than the sum of its parts.
These are perhaps deeper thoughts of the holiday than I normally have, which often go no further than "day off," and possibly "fireworks." And yet, this year, I am feeling the weight of history and the legacy of those like the firefighters who sacrificed their lives for a town in Arizona, and who have been fighting for weeks on end in Colorado, without complaint. It is a most humbling collection of thoughts, and I am in awe of their generosity and capacity to fight and endure for our sake.
It is with those thoughts that I leave for the time being, with a simple wish that each of you is blessed with a safe, happy Fourth of July.
Around the Web
The weather channel highlights unusual cemeteries around the world.
A historic wooden marker, missing from Valley Brook cemetery in Breckenridge, was found, and receiving restoration.
The challenges of maintaining rural cemeteries are, as you might guess, not confined to Colorado.
Lovely pictures and tours of Imperial cemeteries in Beijing.
Near the pyramids of Dahshur in Egypt, the contemporary inhabitants are expanding their current burial grounds, endangering the ancient monuments.
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