Monday, November 11, 2013

The luxury of hope

I knew very little about Andersonville before I came here. I'd worked at a medical museum in Washington, DC that was founded during the Civil War in order to be a repository of, let's say body parts, which furthered the knowledge of medicine immeasurably. Nearly everything I saw there, though, was from the Union perspective, so when I saw the posting for Andersonville I thought it would be a good opportunity to see something of the Civil War from the Confederate side. I was not prepared for the stories of Andersonville. I hope to tell some of them, of the men who came here and who died here.

In the meantime, in the here and now, the days are getting shorter and the nights much colder. There's often frost on the grass of the wide expanse of the prison site, or fog rising softly from the bottom land. One morning I went out for a walk before work and was rewarded with a lovely sunrise. Seeing it rise so beautifully made me think of the men who were imprisoned here and the horrible conditions in which they lived. How many of them would have had the luxury of admiring the coloring sky? Every one of them was fighting for survival with inadequate food, clothing, shelter, and sanitation, but I hope such a sight would have given the viewer at least a brief moment of escape, a fleeting hope.

The Ohio monument.

Reconstruction of the North gate of the stockade.

The Massachusetts monument.

The Michigan monument.

Thought of the day:
It is impossible to be both grateful and depressed. Those with a grateful mindset tend to see the message in the mess. And even though life may knock them down, the grateful find reasons, if even small ones, to get up. 
(Steve Maraboli - Life, the Truth, and Being Free)