Credited as one of America’s most historic states, on Memorial Day thousands of Pennsylvania residents flocks to Gettysburg National Military and Cemetery. From veterans to newborns, the quaint borough of Gettysburg is illuminated with reds, whites, and blues.
As my mother finishes packing the tattered patriotic blankets, my sister and I wrap our scooters with layers of streamers until the wheels are the only part that don’t glisten with America’s colors of freedom. We propel our way through the busy streets of Gettysburg and watch in admiration as the horse-draw carriages tote veterans through the town.
Veterans kneel at graves, weeping as the Gettysburg Address blares. Laying down a bouquet of red and white flowers, they shuts their eyes and dwell upon the lost, never forgetting the men and women who died defending our country’s freedom.
A five-year-old boy pouts as he yanks on his mother’s patriotic shirt. “Momma, will I ever see Dad again?” Tears swell in her eyes as she peers down into her son’s innocent and curious eyes. She holds him tight and remembers the night she cried herself asleep to the traumatic news of her husband, a fallen soldier.
Limousines crowd the parking lot as the governor solemnly makes his way to the Soldier’s National Monument, shaking hands and giving hugs to veterans and families. As he lifts his chin and squints upward to the open sky, he shows reverence to those who died on the field before him for our country’s freedom.
Every year on the last Monday in May, thousands of proud Americans gather to remember what freedom means to America. It is one of the few days of the year when differences are put and aside and conflicts cease to honor those who sacrificed their lives. Although the quaint borough of Gettysburg turns into a patriotic metropolis only a few days each year, the colors of our country’s freedom still illuminate everyday.