Archive for the ‘Somewhere other than a cemetery’ Category
When you mention the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Washington, D.C., most people think of the Wall. There was a lot of controversy concerning that memorial, so let me state that while I’m not showing it here, it is not because I dislike it. The Wall is powerful. But I’ve always been drawn to more literal depictions of things, rather than abstracts, so I wanted to take a moment to look at a second portion of the memorial – the statues of the three solders that stand near the etched roll of names.
On the way home this weekend, we made an impulsive stop at Antietam National Battlefield just outside Sharpsburg, Maryland. It was a whim, but we really couldn’t have picked a better time. Not only was there an artillery demonstration by a crew of re-enactors, but there was a textile display, and one of the central pieces was this quilt. It’s different from what I used to post about. The Pry Memory quilt was created when, following the battle, the Pry family moved to Tennessee. The signatures on the quilt blocks allowed the piece to be traced back to its origins.
The second item in Trinity College’s Long Room that I thought deserved a place on this blog is certainly a different kind of memorial than I usually encounter. A copy of one volume of Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914-1918 was on display. This book lists over 49,000 Irishmen who died in World War I: name, birthplace, rank, unit, cause of death, and place of death.
One of our destinations in Dublin was Trinity College. Trinity College is home to the famous Book of Kells, a gorgeously illuminated Gospel book. Trinity College has an exhibit that combines a display of information, “Turning Darkness into Light,” on the making of the Book of Kells and other manuscripts like it; viewing 4 pages of the Book of Kells and two other medieval manuscripts, and then exiting through the old library, with shelves and shelves of rare books that go all the way to a arched ceiling. Treasures of the old library are displayed in glass cases down the center of the library. What is displayed depends on the particular thematic mini-exhibition the library has decided on. While we visited, the theme was Drawn to the Page: Irish Artists and Illustrations.
One of the books on display was Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard. By that point, I had already seen a dozen country churchyard from the windows of the bus and strolled the one famous as William Butler Yeats’ final resting place, so I felt compelled to share this with you.
When you read this, I will be starting out on my Ireland adventure. As some of you remember from reading this blog, I went to Ireland four years ago this January and brought back a wealth of photographs. I’ve been looking through those in preparation for my second trip.
While not a funerary memorial, this giant torc in Bunratty, Ireland, certainly qualifies as a monument and a tribute to the peoples who lived on the land in ages past, as the plaque indicates the artist was inspired by ancient artifacts and structures.
As a follow-up to the previous post, these are photos of the Jennie Wade House, which of course was never known by that name during her life. Jennie was born and lived elsewhere, but she died in this house during the Battle of Gettysburg, and so it is the place most associated with her.
In the old section of Gettysburg, a house that doesn’t have a historical plaque or marker on it is in the minority. Any house that stood at the time of the battle bears a plaque stating that fact, like the top plaque on this house.
However, this house is also the birthplace of Mary Virginia Wade, the only civilian killed during the Battle of Gettysburg. Twenty-year-old Ginnie Wade was staying with her sister, the Georgia Wade McClellan who unveiled the plaque. McClellan had just given birth when the sleepy little crossroads of Gettysburg was overrun by soldiers, and the family found themselves in the middle of the battle lines as the armies skirmished. Ginnie was kneading bread for baking when a bullet traveled through the door of the house and struck her in the back, killing her. Ginnie Wade’s sudden, tragic death brought her a fame she never could have expected in life, and Gettysburg now plays host to three tourist attractions associated with her: her grave in Evergreen Cemetery, the Jennie Wade House (her sister’s house where she was killed), and the Jennie Wade birthplace (a tasting room for Reid’s Winery).
When we took the Ghosts of Gettysburg tour during our vacation, and this story was the only one that had a tombstone associated with it. The house is rented out to college students every year, and the residents over the years have supposedly reported hearing the sound of a body falling down the stairs and thudding to the floor. When some work was being done on the grounds, workman unearthed a tombstone with the name “Joanna Craig” on it in the yard.