Land of opportunity and hope: Gettysburg reflection
Published 1:02 am, Wednesday, November 25, 2009
President Abraham Lincoln (played by actor Jim Getty) was saying plenty of things, but I could not relate to any of them until he mentioned how Thanksgiving Day came to be. Lincoln said that the states were celebrating Thanksgiving Day any time of year, whenever they wanted to. Therefore, during the Civil War, he decided to make it a national holiday. Now everyone had to celebrate it on the fourth Thursday of November in order to feel the unity and spirit of America.
I thought that was absolutely adorable. I mean, my whole life I was taught about Thanksgiving in November and nobody ever told me that this was why. I am willing to bet that most Americans are not aware of this either. Personally, I believe that Lincoln's plan was great. His words had an effect on me because all I have been doing since our trip is going around in excitement telling everybody about this and how cool it is.
The other thing that had an effect on me was our reenactment of Pickett's Charge. I carried a Union flag and I thought to myself, "Well, this is going to be fun!" I had no idea that I would feel a lot more than enjoyment. When Rich Kohr, our licensed guide, got us lined up and ready to march, I was enthusiastic to begin.
Though I am an immigrant in this country, and I have zero connections to America in my ancestors, I felt pride. To march through the same place that the Confederate and Union soldiers marched made a shiver go down my spine. I kept in mind the situation that these soldiers were experiencing.
I also realized that if it wasn't for the Civil War there would be no United States of America today and there would be nowhere for my parents to have escaped from the war in Bosnia. Where would we go, if there was no land of opportunity and hope?
Selma Kojic is an 11th grade U.S. History student at Fairfield Warde High School.