Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gettysburg in My Backyard

To celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary, my husband took the girls and I to the battlefield to locate some of the witness trees I had recently been made aware of. I researched their approximate locations and much to our delight, we actually found eight of them! The United States War Department placed tags on the trees in the early 1900s that they felt were “witness trees” to the Battle of Gettysburg-some of these trees don't display them, but each of the ones we found had the tags! Its hard to describe the feeling of touching something that was actually there in 1863;you can't help but wonder who might have rested in the shade of their leafy branches or leaned wearily against their trunk?

Gettysburg is a place with so many stories to tell; for me these trees have helped me immensely in my personal journey to better understand the scope of what must have happened.

In my many searches to learn more about the witness trees, I discovered a place where you can actually purchase seedlings from living history; propagated offspring of trees connected to famous people, events, and places. (Cut and paste this address to find out more:)

An excerpt from their site reads:

"American Forests Historic Tree Program is the nation’s only resource for
offspring from famous and historic trees. All of our trees are authentic,
direct descendents of trees that shaded the lives of famous people or events.
You can grow a Redbud from George Washington's River Farm, a honey locust
from Gettysburg, a red maple from Walden Woods, a sweetgum from Graceland.
Check out our extensive collection from historical sites across America."

In honor of our anniversary we are going to purchase a "Gettysburg Address Honey Locust" seedling and plant it in our backyard.

I can't think of a lovelier way to honor and remember the history that surrounds us.

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