Cemetery Ridge

“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.”

President Abraham Lincoln––The Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg. Simply writing the place name brings me back to the day that I visited an american civil war site, where 46,000 to 51,000 soldiers forfeited their lives during the summer month of July 1–3, 1863. Standing above cemetery ridge gave me a profound sense of sorrow to consider the sacrifices made on this ground. So many live’s lost––four score and seven years ago …

The Gettysburg Cemetary
The Gettysburg National Cemetery (Poem borrowed from a sign marker at the national cemetery)

Many would describe me as having a sensitive soul. I see and feel shadows of life I can’t always understand. My head began to hurt as the car came close to Gettysburg. My stomach began to churn. Perhaps my lunch upset me, or perchance yesterday’s past merged with the present, but as the car turned a corner and followed the road toward the visitor’s centre, I swear I could see the shadow of soldiers walking in the woods. And laid deep in a puddle of liquid sorrow a man gazed up at the sky …

A statue of a civil war soldier, on Cemetery Ridge.
Statue of a civil war soldier on Cemetery Ridge. (Poem borrowed from a sign marker at the national cemetery)

President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg address on November 19, 1863 to commemorate the Gettysburg National Cemetery, where many civil war soldiers both lost their lives and earned their final rest. I had mixed emotions standing on ground where a man of great stature once stood and spoke intelligent compelling words, commemorating a hallowed ground.

“We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We are met to dedicate a portion of it as

the final resting place of those who have given their lives that that nation might live.”

An angel who rests at the top of a stone sculpture. (Poem borrowed from a sign card at the cemetary.)
An angel who rests at the top of a stone monument. (Poem borrowed from a sign marker at the national cemetery.)

The sun began to set as we drove away. My stomach settled and my head cleared, but the memories of Gettysburg will live in my mind’s eye for as long as I shall live.

Pres Lincoln and Shelley
Bronze sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln at the Gettysburg visitor’s centre with Shelley Kassian

Published by shelleykassian

Shelley Kassian is a multi-published author and storyteller, who romances readers with her contemporary, historical, and fantasy novels.

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