My dad has been a Civil War Reenactor for just about as long as I can remember (I think for over 20 years). Today we had the day free and he was doing a Living History event at James Garfield Park in Mentor, so we went to see his camp and watch them march. We had to leave before they did any shooting drills because we figured it would be too loud for Evelyn's baby ears, but still got to spend a good chunk of time there.
You may know that the Civil War is in the 150th anniversary cycle, so all the events that have been happening since 2011 and until 2015 are 150th anniversaries. The 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, for example, happens next July and the battle of Antietam is this September.
I'm not much of a supporter of war, but I am a huge supporter of liberation. So when it comes to the Civil War, what matters is that I support the memory of what this country and my own ancestors went through for the liberation of enslaved Africans. I'm so glad that people like my dad work hard to make sure that no one forgets what happened and why it is significant to us today.
Part of me wants to continue rambling about what these men fought for, but really I know that nothing more needs to be said than what Abraham Lincoln spoke almost 150 years ago. It's worth reading today as much as it was worth hearing then, and I think the reminder helps us today as we continue to strive for the equality of all people in this country.
So, friends, a word from the 16th President of the United States:
"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."
P.S. I've got quite a few Blog Entries mulling around, including the second part of the Arizona trip and an update on the Search and Call process. I'll try to get around to it this week, but no promises. If you find yourself having trouble waiting, you can see my previous entry on patience. :-D