Friday, October 9, 2009

Gettysburg Pennsylvania

Gettysburg as we all know from our history class was the scene of one of the most horrific battles of the Civil War. The town itself is full of beautiful historic buildings but is largely overrun with tourist traps of every description. The battlefield is a solemn place where you can feel the ghosts of the more than 50,000 men who were killed or wounded there in just three days. The Civil War is infamous for these huge casualties due in part to the advances in weaponry, and in part to the lack of advances in medicine at the time.

As I stood upon the fields with familiar names like Gettysburg and Antietam where another battle that claimed more than 23,000 victims in just twelve hours raged, I reflected on the incredible waste of war and the sad fact that more Americans died killing each other than in all the other wars we have ever fought combined. Now almost 150 years later as we enter the eighth year of war in Afghanistan I wonder if it will ever end. I’m not sure why we feel compelled to visit places like this. It didn’t make me proud to be an American, it made me sad.

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