Friday, 13 June 2014

Day 40: Gettysburg.



Over breakfast we chat with Matthew a college Chaplain and historian and Ralph a public communications Professor and musician. They are on a motorcycle journey.

We could have listened for hours.

Like Lincoln we now have our own 'Gettysburg Address'.

We are staying over the road from the July, 1863 battlefields which included the ridge surrounding the Lutheran Seminary.

We took Matthew 's advice and went to the Seminary Ridge Museum. The building was used as a look out - from the cupola- and as a field hospital during and after the battle. Duty and Devotion are themes.


Rachel shows me how to do peg knitting.
The buildings in the Lutheran Seminary simple and elegant.
Truth us mightier than eloquence:
The spirit stronger than genius:
Faith greater than learning.
Luther
 
This statement is in the plinth of a statue of Martin Luther located in the seminary grounds.
I owe something to Lutheran teaching. Once upon a time I took part in the Church Army in New Zealand Lutheran Bethel Series course.
We are 'Blest to be a blessing' was the key tenet.
A whole floor of The Seminary Ridge Museum has exhibits where questions of faith in the context of slavery and of war are raised.
Reconciliation and renewal are themes in the displays.
Motorcycle journeys are times of reconciliation and renewal. Memories surface, forgotten hurts reveal themselves - forgiveness heals and a new thing begins. A recurrent daily process. Off the back of the bike they go.
 
We set off down to Main Street Gettysburg. Many if he buildings bear plaques showing they we standing in 1863 at the time of the Civil War.
At last a church which is unlocked during the day time.
The Lutheran church at the seminary. The needlework was beautiful.
'Behold I do a new thing.'
Simplicity and calm.

We explored the battlefields on a narrated tour in the afternoon.

Oops, I reformatted my memory card in my camera before I downloaded the photos.

You are spared photos of slippery beef pie and bratwurst with sauerkraut and pierogues.

We have both been interested in our forays into American Civil War history. It was mostly new to both of us. Being in these states where the battle fields have become national military parks with lots of interpretation material with photographs of people and places makes it all seem more real.

At the same time as the Civil War both our fathers' forebears were migrating to New Zealand.

 

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