9 Sep 2015

Catherine Mitchell

We ended our Civil War tour at the Gettysburg National Cemetery. This is where it all came together for me. We had walked the battlefields, had seen where brother had fought brother, had heard Brian tell us their stories, yet I still couldn’t wrap my head around the justification for so much bloodshed. Here at the cemetery, Brian shared his love for his cadets who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. And I finally understood the heart of a soldier. I am so grateful for their dedication and courage and I hope that we can continue “to take increased devotion to that cause which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion”. We each had chosen a stone from somewhere on the battlefields and at the cemetery we placed that stone on the grave of a fallen soldier and spent some quiet, sacred time honoring and thanking him for his sacrifice. Lauren carefully weaved a wreath of fallen leaves around the headstone of her unknown soldier. It was very moving to see that all the youth on the trip had taken Brian’s lessons to heart.