Tuesday, April 12, 2011

the first volley of the civil war

150 years ago this morning the war between the states began.  the reenactment of the confederacy wreaking havoc on the union-occupied Fort Sumter began promptly at 6:45 AM.  it is still going strong.  at 9:40 PM.   

this post is perhaps a bit off topic.  however, this day certainly has been giving my brain a workout, putting into perspective the events of a day that began a conflict that began a way of life that began the United States as we know it (read:  including all 13 originals).  wow.  i can read about and hear about and discuss that war and its myriad battles.  i've learned about the ups and downs the highs and the lows, the bad guys and the good.  general lee and stonewall jackson and Manassas and Gettysburg.  i've heard differing opinions, varying levels of anger and blame.  i learned about the war in classrooms in Virginia.  some say i didn't hear it from the right angle.  who knows? 

all i know after today is that no matter what any of us has read, heard or learned, there's not much like constant canon fire for an entire day to tell you how it really is.  how it must have been for the Charlestonians of 1861 that day their South got the big idea to send the North running back to their Union, leaving the heavily damaged and retaken Fort Sumter in their wake.  

what now? had to have crossed their minds and definitely shaped their next four years.  as the day has worn on and the booms have resounded again and again, i feel quite put-in-my-place by what must have been.  i got ready for work, drove over the bridges with their respective views of Fort Sumter and Fort Johnston, came home again, talked on my mobile phone as i pulled weeds and prepped pots for this year's petunias, sat on the deck, made dinner, watched jeopardy, and type now to the sounds of the war that changed our nation.  

tomorrow i will go to work--to my southern classroom with white, black, latina and jamaican students where we will learn that there was once a war between a divided country.  we will learn that we were all created by God and we are experiencing our right to learn together, play together and love together.  We will learn that it's imperative to keep those rights alive and well for others who don't have what we do, and that we pray for those people.  

i love this country and what we have.  i love democracy and union and independence.  i love history, what we and i have learned from it.  i love teaching about it all and trying to put it all into words. 

thanks for reading and listening and humoring me.  good night (now that it's quiet).  

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