Today we went to see the Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg. This was a devastating, yet turning point battle between the North and South fought on July 1,2 & 3 of 1863. The Civil War has been described as the second war for independence. It was fought for 3 fundamental reasons. 1. The freedom of slavery 2. The preservation of the United States, and 3. What it meant to be an American. The first two were settled, however, the third is still being debated. This visit was quite remarkable in that we learned a lot about American history, but also how the vision, passion, and loyalty to a cause can drive people to extremes. In this war, communities and families were split over the issues and brothers were fighting brothers.
We watched a wonderful presentation on the history of the war and battle at Gettysburg, and then went through a museum were there were artefacts and personal stories about the battle. After that, we then drove around the battlefield to see firsthand where this all took place. It was a rather sobering day, but a day full of history, wonder and awe at the human spirit.