Wednesday, November 19, 2008
IN MEMORIUM: MARTIN OLSON WRITES ABOUT LIVING IN THE MIDST OF HISTORY
I can't imagine a better place (with all due respect to the rest of America) to grow up than in Gettysburg, PA.
Early on, I realized that my town was different from most other towns in the land.
As a first-grader I remember going to a nearby neighbor who was donating flowers, from her prized flower garden, to neighborhood school children. Then it was off to High Street elementary school where at the first through fourth graders were marshaled and sent off march through the streets of Gettysburg to the annual Memorial Day parade staging ares.
What an awesome event to participate in and behold: "remembering the solders who made the ultimate sacrifice so that the union was preserved."
Summer after summer in my youth the battleground served as a great adventure place to roam and soak in the history that saturated those grounds.
I remember how proud I was as a high school junior that I had been equipped by my schooling to give my Jamestown, NY Swedish relatives a grand tour of the hallowed ground.
I remember as if it were yesterday how on milestone anniversary date the re-enactments of bring Lincoln back to Gettysburg. The huffing, puffing steam engine pulling up at Gettysburg station. What pageantry, what excitement!
My memories of Gettysburg are too voluminous to recount here.
But every Memorial Day, every July 1-3 and every November 19th, my mind get preoccupied with the Gettysburg growing up experience.
As we elected Barack Obama in 2008, it is stirring to hear that, perhaps, Obama will be shaping a cabinet seeking to unite a divided nation along the Lincoln lines.
It is so "fitting and proper" that Obama would honor "The Great Emancipator" and thereby unite the nation once again.
Posted by Martin Olson at 9:22 AM