We found ourselves in Gettysburg during those fleeting hours between noon and night, when twilight hovers in the hot summer air. There was just enough time to make it to the new visitor’s center to get information about the sprawling battlefield, and start to explore its long winding roads past markers and monuments.
The signage of Gettysburg is not that great if you are driving – hence Pop made a first wrong turn. But he got the hang of it, and pulled off periodically to view the parade of plaques and memorials to the brave men who had gallantly fought and died on these rolling hills. The setting sun added to the haunting quality of the landscape, which was eerily quiet, and at that hour of the day, largely deserted.
But Pops found the first stop on the map, where the opening shots were fired, then across a railroad cut where some Confederates were captured, and on to a hilltop where a monument – the Eternal Flame Of Peace – stands in an art-deco style of the 1930’s. It was dedicated in 1937 by FDR at the final great gathering of Civil War veterans, and the 75th anniversary of the battle. The third and final stop for the night was at an observation tower that gave wide views of the fields and rolling hills surrounding the north-western corner of the town. By then, the light was failing as the sun hid behind rolling clouds, and it was time to call it a day.