Monday, December 09, 2013

Antietam: Music before candles glow on the battlefield

Before the candles glowed Saturday at Antietam, this man played the bagpipes.

Beside the Dunker Church at the annual Antietam illumination on Saturday afternoon, this man played the bagpipes, a hauntingly beautiful instrument to play on a battlefield. Especially this battlefield, where men in the Union and Confederate armies slaughtered each other on Sept. 17, 1862 -- the bloodiest day in American history. None of this man's ancestors fought at Antietam. "I just like to play the bagpipes," he said. His music, not the cold weather (temperature in 20s with the wind chill), gave me goose bumps. As the sun set behind the church a short time later, 23,110 candles -- one for every Antietam casualty -- glowed across the rolling landscape. It was the first time I had seen this unforgettable display. This man’s music was equally unforgettable.

                  Volunteers light the candles for the 25th annual illumination at Antietam.
                                   (Click on image for full-screen interactive panorama.)

No comments:

Post a Comment