On Sunday, I went to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to see the museum and battlefield grounds. The movie, the painted “colorama” and the museum filled with archives gave me visual cues about the events of those three days in July 1863 when over 40,000 soldiers lost their lives.
But as we drove to tour the actual battlefield, I was overwhelmed by the fact that this place where we were driving was holy ground. There were hundreds of memorials erected on the battlefield by regiments from various union and confederated states to remember the men who died on the battlefield. The highlight was the national cemetery where thousands had been buried, many in unmarked graves. President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous speech here. The somber sacredness reminded me of the horror that our Civil War, or any civil war, inflicts upon a country.
We are in Holy Week this week, a time to remember the most sacred death in our Christian history: the death of Jesus. This, Our Holiest Week, we keep holy with visual clues and sacred memorials.