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Quiet day

After the delightful yesterday of talk and laughter and good food, today is quiet. I am, as usual on Fourth of July weekend, watching Gettysburg. I usually watch part of it on the 2nd, part on the 3rd, and finish on the 4th.* This year, I missed the second (see delightful day above), so I'm getting the a big brain deluge today. I just finished the Battle for Little Round Top and visited John Bell Hood in the field hospital.

I think the reason I watch it every year is that more than any other war film I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot) it makes war itself something heartbreaking. More importantly, Maxwell's Gettysburg re-affirms the basic decency of human beings, even nobility, even while showing that even the best of men can make horrible mistakes with devastating consequences--but that those mistakes do not change the fundamental decency or value of those who make them. It is, ultimately, a movie optimistic about the human spirt and, as Chamberlain would say, the inherent value of every human being, and that I think is why even the heartbreak of Pickett's Charge can't make me turn away from it.

This year, though, I watched it in one sitting. Today is Friday, July 3. On Friday, July 3, 1863, at 3 in the afternoon, 5 Confederate brigades began an assault on the Union position on Cemetery Ridge (for the non-CW geeks, "Pickett's Charge"). There is a certain symmetry I couldn't ignore to watching that particular battle this afternoon, the 146th anniversary, on the actual day of the week when it occurred. I cheerfully, however, forgo the humidity and temperatures of that day for the relative dryness and coolness of this one.

The morning began with hearing the NPR voices I know and love read through the document that begins "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."; now I am watching courage and conviction; I will spend my evening with friends from my youth, singing and laughing.

May your day, your holiday, give you as much satisfaction.

And for those of you going to Glenn Linn, where I spent part of last year's holiday weekend--fence, giggle, and drink some rum or Scotch. He would.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 3rd, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
did hundmathr remember to bring you the books?
Jul. 3rd, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
Yes yes yes yes yes yes.

Thank you so much!!
Jul. 3rd, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
It was so lovely to spend time with you & Zee Duchezz- and thank you both for the goodies! :)
Jul. 5th, 2009 09:24 am (UTC)
would you like some sparklers again this year? I'll bring them to Pennsic for you if you'd like.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )