Sunday, June 8, 2014

Done! Bucket List #38 - Gettysburg

This weekend is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of northern France in 1944. I really wish I had gone, but finances being what they are, I can't justify making the same trip two years in a row. Over Easter break, I did the next best thing, which was visit Gettysburg. After I spent several days watching tv, including an entire season of Being Human, and doing my taper running, I decided on a whim to go to Gettysburg and see the battlefield.
I pulled over when driving in,
when I realized I was driving through the battlefield

After a 7-hour drive, I spent the evening in the city, walking around, seeing the historic sites, and having dinner at a yummy French cafe. In the morning, I walked around the national cemetery, then met up with a guided tour of the battlefields. There was a movie and a cyclorama at the visitors center, but I didn't pay to see either. I did see the Starbucks though. Ain't that America...?

I had to pay for the tour - there were several options from a bus tour, to a tour guide driving your car, to a self tour with cd narrative. The park itself was free, as was parking.

Bill ordered me a copy of Gettysburg: The Last Invasion by Allan Guelzo and had it delivered to my house days after I returned home. It was great to read after I saw everything because I could picture the locations and events the author described. I think it made more sense that way, than if I had read the book beforehand. Excellent book, although a bit more military based than I normally read. (I'm more of a social historian).

There are approximately 1,300 monuments, statues and memorials in the battlefield. I want to go back sometime and photograph every one of them. Another reason to go back is the Gettysburg marathon, which was the same day as Toledo. Runners pick to represent either the north or the south, and their shirt is blue or gray, respectively. All the runners on the winning side get an extra prize (they have a way to determine the winners based on time, or placement, etc.)
Walking in to downtown Gettysburg 
Abe and me outside the visitors center
Graves at the national cemetery 
Outside the cemetery and across the street
The cemetery was small. There was a larger part for more
recent graves, but the Civil War burials were a small area.
Where President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address
View of the battlefield from atop Little Round Top
Site of Pickett's charge

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