Sunday, September 19, 2010
Battle Anniversary: best one yet
This weekend was my fifth battle anniversary as a Ranger, and this was the one that will be the most memorable.
Friday started out with a very enthusiastic Ranger Dan (returned for the weekend) posting the many public programs operated out of the visitor's center.
Ranger Snyder kicked the day off with his outstanding power-point on battlefield preservation.
He was preaching to a packed house.
Rangers Baracz, Snyder, and Hoptak then got the all-day hike underway from the New York monument.
They had well over a hundred happy hikers in attendance.
On Saturday I joined Ranger Baracz for the hike up Nicodemus Heights. Initially I came along as his radioman, but he also asked me to do a brief presentation on artillery, which I'm always happy to do.
Here I'm working on my upper-body strength with a 3 inch Hotchkiss shell (clearly, a skeptical Brian thinks I've got my work cut out for me).
Then the hike got underway in ernest with about a hundred participants making the two mile trek which included Nicodemus Heights and Hauser Ridge.
The anticipation builds as the hikers climb the heights, and then turn around...
To appreciate the view Stuart's horse artillery had of the Union 1st Corps.
I led the two-hour battlefield tour and still had time to attend local historian, Reverend John Schildt's wonderful twilight tour of the National Cemetery.
With 85 people in tow, John told the story of the men who fought and died on September 17, 1862 with great knowledge, humility, and compassion. It was an outstanding talk.
But the highlight of this battle anniversary, came just about a half hour before John's cemetery walk when Susan gave me the answer I was hoping for when...
I asked her to marry me.