We have visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of the American Civil War‘s turning point; the three day Battle of Gettysburg. Although history-buffs in general, none of us have specialized in the Civil War, I therefore recommend that you pick up a history book to read about it, if you are interested, or follow the wiki-links above for the short version.
The areas where the fighting took place are all hallowed ground, and it is possible to take tours or drive around in your own car. This being winter and the ground covered in snow, we decided to just visit the The Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park . Man, was that time well spent! So interesting, so educational and so emotional!
Any war is complex, and has several layers of reasoning from either side, but what this war comes down to is slavery. Slavery has excisted in many cultures throughout history, and according to United Nations estimate, roughly 27 to 30 million individuals are currently caught in the slave industry today.
President Abraham Lincoln delivered the speach Gettysbyrg Address – one of the The Greatest Speaches in the World, on November 19th, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers National Cementary, 4 1/2 months after the Battle of Gettysburg:
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 battlefield 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.
If you happen to be in this area, make sure you make time for a visit at The Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park. This comes highly recommended by The Karate Kid, Sir Nerdalot and Old Mamasan.