Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Three Days in July

As usual, the night before a trip I'm trying to cram in this chore and that errand and still manage to get to bed at a "decent" hour. How funny that, with the world literally crashing around us, we can get hung up on our insignificant worries, our self-inflicted overdoing. Talk of GM going completely under and the market firmly gone "bear" and I'm concerned over whether I remembered to pack something or if we'll get on the road at a reasonable time (in my Subaru).

There have been worse days. On this night exactly 145 years ago, lots of Americans had a lot worse on their minds. Things like, "Where are my boots?" Or, "Where are my feet?"

The Battle at Gettysburg raged on from July 1 to July 3, 1863, culminating in the fiercest losses of life on American soil, and supposedly turning the tide on the War itself. (I never understand this; the war raged on for another couple of years. If I had been Gen. Lee, I surely would have turned my sword over to Gen. Meade.)

So we are, 145 years later, in the middle of another bloody war, this time far away from home. In some ways the Civil War was a just war. This war we're now in is just wrong. Men and women of the armed forces, not to mention tens of thousands more men, women and children of Iraq and Afghanistan, are losing their lives for no particular reason that anyone has given, really. And at home we wage war every day to get and keep our jobs, to fill our gas tanks, to put bread on our tables, to raise our children and keep them safe and alive through another day.

And I'm worried about getting enough sleep.

This tune is a grabber from the Infamous Stringdusters brand new and fabulous self-titled release. "Three Days In July" tells the story of one night from one young man's point of view. Boys my son's age were part of a youth "brigade" that made up as much as 15% of the soldiers on both sides. I'm sure as the song says, they learned things they never knew, and we surely never will. Maybe we should. Maybe if we really understood some of the things that used to be, we'd treat each other better and take more seriously our roles as citizens. We can only take the next few days and over the holiday think about what about this country matters to us, why we celebrate our "independence," and what we can do to get back some authenticity for our busted-up, beleaguered, midlife-crisis nation.

1 Comments:

At July 04, 2008 7:33 PM, Anonymous Fearless said...

When it comes to recent tunes about Gettysburg, I much prefer "Dixieland" by Steve Earle and Del McCoury from "The Mountain." It's based on characters from "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara. (A GREAT book.) I love it. Love the whole CD.

Anita is reading "Cold Mountain" right now. Incredible, wonderful book, HORRIBLE trash of a movie.

 

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