Connecting to the Civil War

I spend quite a bit of time with students helping them connect local people and stories to significant events in history. One project I do is to find Civil War soldiers in local cemeteries, then work with kids to research their soldiers' experiences in the war.

Last week I took the girls on a trip to Gettysburg. I had never been and am considering bringing a group of teachers there next summer. At first we had a bit of trouble negotiating around all the tourists, movies, and ghost walks.

But slowly the mystical chords of Gettysburg began to whisper to us.

We found ourselves thinking hard about why people fight and wondering when or if it is ever worth the carnage.

We explored the impact of war on civilians at the Shriver House and read a memoir written by this little girl as she told of living through a horrifying experience.

It was an amazing experience filled with opportunities to have history have real meaning, real lessons for us all.

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