Which brings me to the crux of this blog entry. Back up to Presidents' Day back in February. It was Julia's birthday weekend and all she wanted to do was go to King of Prussia Mall, shop and eat lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. So we did. It was so fun. We ate well, we shopped well, we even went to Valley Forge. We got back home, tucked the kiddos into bed and a little while later, Hope was up, sick. Poor bugga. That's a Maine term of endearment for something so sweet and little. Not to be gross, but she was puking sick. Violently so. It was the worst I had seen. After one bathroom session, as I was tucking her back to bed, she coughed. It landed right into my open mouth that was saying, "I love you." And in doing so...she shared the love. I was so sick. I never remember ever being that sick. I missed most of the rest of the day between sleep and running to the bathroom. Mark didn't have class, I can't remember why, but I do know that he and Julia were out and about that morning, getting crackers and ginger ale for when Hope and I wanted it. One of the things I remember was him being so excited about getting the USAWC camper in Gettysburg for the week of the 4th of July. All I could think of at the time was driving back down to PA from Maine.
So fast forward. The excitement built, it really had no where to go but up at that time. When we found out that Mark actually had those days off in his regular schedule, it was time to really get excited. Now, some of you are thinking that we are crazy...the crowds will be huge...a huge crowd has never scared off Mark & Sarah. Mark was like a kid at Christmas. Where did he want to be on July 2nd? Any guesses? Little Round Top at the 20th Maine monument, of course!
|And here we are. 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Little Round Top with a Joshua Chamberlain re-enactor. Yup, there's no where else Mark would have rather have been.|
|We were with our friends, the Hasemans, and they were getting the full Little Round Top history lesson.|
|These kiddos are such good buddies! They are even good sports as they let their parents drag them all over the battlefield in 100 degree weather and they all had smiles on their faces.|
Day 2 was hotter than day 1. Ugh. I was thankful for our Camelbacks which we all sucked dry! July 3rd found us at the High Water Mark waiting for a re-enactment of Picket's Charge. We northerners waited while the southerners formed across the field. We met 4 sisters who were there with their dad, a huge Civil War buff. They told my girls that they were all here together on the 125th anniversary and were about my girls' age. They told my girls that it was fun to follow their dad around to battlefield, though he tended to tell the same stories over and over-my girls can relate-and that they would be back at the 175th and would look forward to seeing my girls again. It was so cute! There were so many people over there. It was neat to see the crowd build. There were many things going on all around us, buglers, units marching, PA State Police helicopter overhead, girls sweating....
When everyone had arrived to the stone wall, Taps was played in an echo all down the line. General Lee was present to salute. There were those chills and tears again.
|Saw these guys down town. Couldn't help but steal a picture.|
Day #3. Still hot. We were able to meet up with some friends/family from Maine and see a few more sites before heading back to the big city.
|A few mementos left.|
|Signal Corps. One on top of Little Round Top, one at Devil's Den|
|Strong Vincent. If you haven't heard this guy's story...check it out here. Inspirational.|
Battling the crowds...so worth it! Being at Gettysburg for the 150th anniversary is something none of us will forget.