In my first blog about “Dreams”, I mentioned I was published in the book, Walking with the Living God, by Suzanne Proulx with my story “From Darkness to Dawn.” If you are interested in ordering the book, you can go to www.buglebooks.com and 100% of the profits go to charitable organizations.
I am writing about “Battles” today because last week I was made more aware of the battles our men and women fought for the freedoms we enjoy in America. Last week I traveled to Chattanooga, TN, Strasburg, VA, and Philadelphia, PA. As it turned out, I experienced quite a bit of American history. My primary purpose for the road trip was to go to a graduation in Chattanooga. The city was quite charming and the visit was wonderful. While there, I visited the grounds of the Battles of Chattanooga, particularly the Battle of Lookout Mountain during the Civil War. Chattanooga had a vital rail hub with lines going North and South and was important for the production of iron. There were four Battles of Chattanooga and in the end over 12,491 soldiers had died, were injured or missing.
While driving to Pennsylvania, I also visited the grounds of the Battle of Antietam in Maryland. There I walked the grounds of the Antietam National Battlefield and learned that the hilly landscape determined how the battle was fought. This battle was the bloodiest single one-day battle in all of American history. A total of 23,000 Americans died, were injured or missing on September 17,1862. The South called it the Battle of Sharpsburg while the North called it the Battle of Antietam. In talking with the guide I learned that the battle was given its name (the Battle of Antietam) not because the North won, but rather because the Northerners gave the funds to have the National Park built. For instance, although in the Battle of Manassas, the North won and they called it the Battle of Bull Run, the Manassas National Battlefield Park was paid by the Southerners, therefore, they call it the Battle of Manassas. (It took me three questions to get the full information on this answer.)
When I arrived in Philadelphia, one of the first things I went to see was the Liberty Bell. It was amazing to learn how many places the bell has traveled to and how many prominent people have had their picture taken with it. Then I went to the National Constitution Center. Many facts were displayed, but the information about the statistics of deaths, injuries and missing people in the wars we have fought in America was most impressive and one I will never forget. The Civil War incurred the most deaths at 650,000, World War II 405,000, Vietnam 58,000 and our current War (for these past 7 years) 4,300. Do you find the magnitude of deaths in the Civil War staggering? When I think of how many people have died, for my freedom…. how many people have suffered and still do suffer today for the loss of their loved ones, for my freedom…. all I can do is weep and be grateful for my freedom. When I think about our battles of disillusionment, our battles of fears, our battles of desires and success and then I rethink about these truths, it really takes on a different battlefield in my mind. What can I do today to offer you some freedom?