I watched my kids run down a lane in a field -- still a field, gold with wheat this time of year -- where history actually happened. I watched them whoop and holler and man the cannons and pretend to be Civil War generals and tell me they wanted to live in Gettysburg when they grew up and couldn't we come back sometime. They talked about Robert E. Lee and George Meade and Stonewall Jackson like they were real people whom we might have met before, and not just names in books. My four year old walked around clutching his Civil War comic book like it was his most prized possession.
It seemed fitting to me that there should be this kind of joy and life again in this place -- the kind of joy and life only children can bring.
Joy and life
A family visits Gettysburg on the Fourth: