Back in 2014, when I first posted this, we were commemorating the 153rd anniversary of our Civil War, which was fought April 1861-April, 1865 (officially, anyway). Before that war, our citizens tended to think of themselves as citizens of their town, their state - and, perhaps almost as an afterthought, the United States.
During the war, we did unspeakable things to each other.
But four years, and over 620,000 casualties, later, we ended up thinking of ourselves in a whole different way.
Now, our country has entered another rough patch with our people torn apart, frustrated at our elected officials and our economy, and wondering who will lead us out of our current difficulties in this Presidential election year.
It would be a good thing to step back for a moment and think of the following I first posted in 2014.
Civil War Sunday - 153 Years Later
I was in Charleston this past week, and the car trip down from my home in upstate New York was a fascinating experience. It gave me a lot of time to think.
|Gettysburg, PA - the site of perhaps the most famous Civil War battle|
Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Such a simple act, but in 1861, if the bridge had been there, Virginia certainly wouldn't have been welcoming a couple of Yankees. This was the border between the Union and the Confederacy. In fact, a small portion of the bridge is technically in our capital, Washington, DC.
I didn't take any pictures of road signs at that point, but there were several road signs which had both Washington, DC and Richmond, Virginia listed on the same sign. So simple - two cities, some 106 miles apart. But, during the Civil War, they were the capitals of two countries at war with each other.
How many people give thought to history when they travel this road daily? Things could have been so different if history had worked differently. We can play the "what if" game - some people who enjoy something called "alternate history" do that and write some pretty interesting books based on "what if".
If you look behind the green area to the left of this aircraft carrier which proudly flies the flag of the United States, you will see a distant, small island. On this island sits Fort Sumter.
We must not let ourselves be torn apart.
We survived the Civil War. We can survive this, too.