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A visit to a Civil War Cemetery (repost for Memorial day)

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Are_grits_groceries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 03:30 AM
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A visit to a Civil War Cemetery (repost for Memorial day)
Edited on Mon May-30-11 03:37 AM by Are_grits_groceries
The horrible cost of the Civil War (pictures- not graphic)

This is the National Cemetery in Florence, SC. There was a Confederate stockade near here, and this is where the Union soldiers were buried. It was declared a historical area after the war, and unfortunately it is still in use for military burials today. Hopefully, at some probably mythic point in time, it won't be needed.

When you walk up, the first thing you see are these two stately trees. They have been here since their youth guarding those that lie here. Individual graves are beneath them.

When you turn to your left, you will see two rows of headstones. The markers facing you on the left are over WWII burials. They stand sentinal over the area to the right. The markers that you see from the side are at the end of trenches that were dug to bury many soldiers. The pictures beside this view are frontal views of these markers. They list the number buried in each area.

There is one solitary grave in the middle of the trenches. It is the grave of Florena Budwin. She dressed as a man and followed her husband to war.

One of the majestic trees directly over the individual graves.

The soldiers came from everywhere. Johnny did not go marching home in a lot of cases.. They are much further from where they were raised than many who died in later wars. A lot of those soldiers were brought home from Vietnam and other conflicts and are laid to rest in familiar ground.

The two headstones in the picture below encapsulate for me the problem in fighting wars. The headstone on the left is from the Civil War. The one on the right is from Vietnam. One conflict is considered righteous and one isn't. The end result is the pain you see here. These headstones are ground zero for agonies that have to been inflicted on their loved ones and friends.

There are times when there is a war that needs to be fought. The Civil War ended the terrible legacy of slavery and kept the Union together. Calling for secession again or declaring that some states should just leave the Union now dishonors those who lie here.

I come here during the year and sit beneath the tree. It is a very quiet place, but my mind is always restless. I think about where our soldiers are losing their lives now and try to understand why they are there. In this place of all places, there is a solemnity and a stark reminder of the cost.

Jeanette Rankin, a Congresswoman from Wyoming, voted against entering WWI and WWII. She said that you could no more win a war than you could win an earthquake. I agree with her in some ways when I view the losses around me. An idea and a priciple may prevail, but winning and losing sums up the aftermath too neatly for me.

Pat Buchanan and his ilk are fools, and they romanticize a time when there was nothing but folly and pride that started this conflict. The Civil War should be remembered, but not saluted. The cost was dear beyond measure for the whole nation. The piper had to be paid once the trumpet was sounded because we should never have been nor ever should be a nation of chains.

This is probably your first visit here. I always come by at Christmas to say hey.

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