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Review: Gettysburg Park and Museum – A Must See

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Experience history first hand at the Gettysburg National Military Park.

This review has also been posted to TripAdvisor.

Gettysburg National Military Park and Museum is a must see for anyone who has even the slightest interest in American history.  The park, the grounds, the cemetery, and, most importantly, the people, allow current generations to gain insight into one of our nation’s most pivotal moments in history.

Weapons used during the Battle of Gettysburg on display at the museum

Weapons used during the Battle of Gettysburg on display at the museum

Everything about the park is focused on the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, as well as the aftermath of trying times for the local townspeople and the clean-up effort they needed to undergo.  The park rangers put together amazing programs and talk passionately about the battle, the story behind the cemetery, President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and so many more topics than you can imagine.  The rangers themselves put their heart into every word, and they really try to transform you back in time, if only for a few moments.  We went on the guided cemetery tour and sat in on a very informative medical presentation entitled, “Care of the Wounded”.  The rangers had researched individual people and specific events thoroughly, and they relayed the true stories with unbelievable detail.  Not enough can be said about their dedication to the preservation of this historic time and the care they put into their jobs.  There are many more tours and presentations, and I wish we had the time to sit in on more of them.  They vary in topics from focusing on different parts and locations of the three-day battle to the life of the soldiers and different groups, such as the cavalry and the cannoneers.  One could spend days attending all of the different presentations and just keep learning more.

A Civil War era cannon on display at the Gettysburg Cemetery

A Civil War era cannon on display at the Gettysburg Cemetery

We also took the auto tour, which brings you through all of the various phases of the battle in order, and past all of the recent and historical monuments honoring those who served during the battle.  Another “must see” at the museum is a movie presentation followed by a visit to the 360-degree Cyclorama painting of Pickett’s Charge, an unbelievably detailed portrayal of the battle as if you’re standing right in the center of it.  Words cannot describe the detail of this artwork.  You feel as if you are truly looking out on the battle as it takes place.  While at the museum, be sure to also see some of the many artifacts on display.  The museum’s collection includes everything from weapons and medals to the musical instruments used by both sides at the time.

This was a truly amazing trip through history.  I highly recommend it to anyone.  Even if you aren’t much into history, I believe stopping by the museum would give most Americans a new found respect for, and maybe even an interest in, the events of that time.

An image of the Gettysburg Cyclorama in the Gettysburg National Military Park

An image of the Gettysburg Cyclorama in the Gettysburg National Military Park

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