So, being that we're only about 15 minutes away, this weekend we took in some history.
National Battlefield Park, Manassas, VA.
It's interesting. Living in Massachusetts, the site of the Pilgrims' landing and the birthplace of the American Revolution, we sometimes forget that there's plenty of history outside of our borders. There's Jamestown, older than Plimouth; there's the lost colony of Roanoke; and there are of course all kinds of Revolutionary War attractions.
But there's no Civil War *anything* in Massachusetts.
This weekend we learned about the first engagement in the American Civil war, the Battle of First Manassas, as well as the Battle of Second Manassas in the same field.
We learned about "Stonewall" Jackson - every bit the American hero as Sam Adams, Paul Revere, or George S. Patton.
We discovered Judith Henry, a civilian casualty of war caught, literally, in the crossfire.
Aside from the power lines in the background, it's not hard to imagine things as they were over 150 years ago here.
While it's nothing like a Hellfire missile or a 105 mm Howitzer, the twelve-pound cannon meant instant death - for the lucky ones not shredded by canister shot.
One somber reminder about the toll of warfare: In the battle of Gettysburg, some 50,000 soldiers were killed, maimed, or missing, nearly an order of magnitude more than both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. Not to downplay the soldiers killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, of course; but to point out the true horror of the American Civil War.
We are not at the point now; after visiting Bull Run, I hope we never reach it again.
That is all.