The excerpted letter below, and the attached picture , should remind us not to forget the veterans of our nation’s most brutal war. The Civil War cost the country 620,000 dead as many as all other wars combined. Astoundingly this was 2% of the entire population of the United States. One if four who went to war did not return to their families.
The letter is from Jim Lighthizer, President of the American Battlefield Trust. I am a member, I donate as I can to preserved this HALLOWED GROUND.
Today as you remember the great sacrifice our veterans have givens, please remember those who served from 1861-1865.
This Veterans Day, I find myself reflecting on lessons we can learn from our nation’s military heroes, particularly the remarkable accomplishments of Civil War Veterans. These veterans taught us courage, perseverance, and what it means to leave a legacy.
After the Civil War ended, the nation was left ravaged, with 620,000 dead in its wake. The nation began the slow, painful process of rebuilding the union. Veterans returned to their hometowns and were left to heal from their psychological and physical scars. Times were turbulent and uncertain, both in the North and South. Yet, when they emerged from reconstruction, these former enemies did something extraordinary. They reunited.
Veterans from both sides came together to visit the battlefields. They shook hands and told stories on the very land where they inflicted horrific carnage against one another. This land was now their shared hallowed ground, and held their history that shaped a nation. These veterans were not only determined to create peace, but to protect and preserve the land so that it the stories that took place there, and the lessons learned, would not be lost.
At the American Battlefield Trust, we understand and take seriously the responsibility to honor our veterans not just on Veterans’ Day, but every day. In protecting and forever preserving the land hallowed by the sacrifices of veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War, we honor the sacrifices that America’s citizen soldiers have made and continue to make.
Thank you for your efforts to ensure that stories of our veterans, past, present, and future, are not forgotten.Jim Lighthizer
American Battlefield Trust