Saturday, November 21, 2009

Antietam Battlefield Illumination ... the Bloodiest Single Day Battle ~

The first illumination was held in 1988, held every year on the first Saturday of December yearly.

It is the most emotional, moving, solemn event as you drive thru ... each candle will bring to mind a soldier lying in this field. It brings tears to eyes .....

We have volunteered working on this project from day one. Hence yearly tradition, we take out our bbq grill & I cook 100 hot dogs, a gigantic pot of homemade soup, all kinds of cakes & cookies, hot tea & chocolate ... Harold & I donate it to the other volunteers in appreciation of our joint efforts to make this event a success.

Our volunteers come from all over this great USA, & from overseas.

Around 2PM we start lighting the candles in the bags that we set out all morning, as dusk slowly ebbs. The fields are dimly becoming vibrant with 23,000 lights representing each soldier that was killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of savage combat on September 17,1862. Sharpsburg was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history.

Marydon serving Don Beck a bite to eat.

Our 'troops' with their company flags.

A volunteer preparing a bag for lighting.

As dusk approaches, the night comes alive as we view the beauty of ...

the memoriam ...

for the souls of the brave soldiers that fought courageously ...

brother to brother to father to son to cousin ...

to defend what they believed in ...

taps can be heard in the distance, the carollers fill the air with blessed song.

Then the gates are opened to miles & miles of cars for the public to drive thru.
(If you should visit us this year we hope you will come say 'hi'. We are on Mansfield Ave. @ Clara Barton monument.)


  1. Oh Marydon, this is the most beautiful, heartfelt post I have ever seen! How wonderful of you and your husband to volunteer to help with this... I get so emotional over these patriotic posts you do, but I love them... I cannot ever hear Taps without crying my eyes out... Blessings to you... xoxo Julie Marie

  2. Oh PB...
    You are back up and running I see. I am so thrilled.

    I did not know you did this project. You and Harold are so involved in wonderful community projects. I just love it. This one is the best. Tony and I have sat here looking at these beautiful pictures thinking what an awesome site this would be to behold. We wish we lived close enough to go through the field and help too, but for now we are loving the pictures that you have shared. I hear taps in the distance as we scroll through saying "Thank You" to these wonderful men who fought and died.

    Thank you sweet friend. What a beautiful post.

    I love you...Cherry Jelly

  3. Dear there nothing you cannot do my friend? NOTHING at all????

    Your heart is gold.

    It is.

    Love, Rebecca

  4. wow, I have never really heard the story before, you are truly amazing!
    Margaret B

  5. What a beautiful memorial for those who died on one tragic day. All the lights bring tears to my eyes.

  6. What a beautiful thing for you to do. And what an emotional thing to see. The photos brought goose bumps. I know you don't do this for any sort of recognition, but I applaud you folks for what you do.


  7. This is amazing. I didn't know this was done, it looks so beautiful all lit up. It also gives you a sense of the magnitude of what happened there. It looks like a project well worth volunteering for, it's breathtaking.

  8. That's lovely. The photos are so beautiful must be a wonderful sight.

    All wars are sad but civil wars seem to be the saddest of all.

  9. That is an entire city when you think about the numbers!

    I had ancestors on both sides. My heart aches for what this country went through in that war. The Sullivan Ballou letter reduces me to a puddle of tears every time I read it.

    Thanks for sharing this. Very impressive.



  10. I have read about this before, would love to see it in person. I grew up very close to Shiloh Battlefield where they do something very similar. Thanks for sharing.

  11. This is so beautiful. I've heard about it before. How cool that you have been a part for so many years.

  12. I can remember going to the country school when I was about five and we had to gather the silk from the milkweed plants when they burst open. We were told that this was used to make paraschutes. Who knows if this was a truse story,all I know is my older sister and I gathered all the milkweed silk we could find. lilly

  13. HI!!!
    Oh my --THANK YOU SO MUCH for doing that!!!!! I have never been to Antietam, I wanted to when we were near there, I have not been to Gettysburg either, but have been to several Civil war battlesites, it does bring a tear to your eye, and this sight is amazing!!!! Great job!!!!!
    lovely pics!!!

  14. Thank you so much for sharing such an awe-inspiring event! Your pics are beautiful and it is so kind of you to participate (and help feed everyone).

  15. What a lovely post! The pictures are beautiful, the whole thing is very moving.
    Thanks for sharing!

  16. I only live an hour away and still haven't made it down for this event. I'll have to tell hubby to put it on the list for next year. Thank you so much for sharing.

  17. What a wonderful post to share with all of us. I am so glad I stopped in for a visit.
    I wanted to put your site on mine tomorrow because I am trying a new post for Mondays where I put stuff on sale from other bloggers. Not sure it will catch on but will give it a try.
    Thanks Maggie

  18. What a wonderful thing to do. I can just imagine the thrill when all the candles are alight. We visited Gettysburg and just walking across the battle ground sent chills up my spine. God Bless you for doing this.

  19. Incredible tribute. We don't have much like that here on the West Coast, but I would love to see this event.

    Regarding your post above, those of us who missed the sacrifices of a real war, will never truly understand the sacrifices of our men who fight today...That is just my opinion, but I think that every citizen was apart of ww2 and now, we just watch t.v. and whine.

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving...!

  20. That's lovely! All those souls where lost, and so many here from the south, because of one Mad Man ignoring the US Constitution: Abraham Lincoln. He was a tyrant, not a patriot. :)

  21. That is simply amazing. You and Harold are such kind, selfless people. I hope everything goes well tomorrow.

  22. Just beautiful Marydon, I know your heart and it is beautiful!! What a wonderful tribute.
    (Did you get your mitten?)

  23. We've seen this on TV before, it is just too awesome for words. My husband is a Civil War Battlefield buff and we've been to Antietam several times when traveling. I personally loved it very much, and I'm not 'into battlefields'.

    Your photo shares are stupendous Marydon. I will make sure Bud sees this also. Your invite is much appreciated.

    Have a glorious weekend.

  24. My dear Marydon...this is what you and Harold are all about...sharing and caring. Bless you for your help to others and helping us remember the Civil War and its historical values for all of us!
    Thank God there are people like you!
    We love you!

  25. How awesome! Marydon, I got chills as I viewed your pictures and read the post about this wonderful ceremony.

  26. How beautiful Marydon - a such a wonderful thing for you and hubby to do. If we were a little close we would make the trip. Maybe some year we'll load up the grandsons and do it.

  27. Marydon-This is so moving and spectacular!

  28. What a beautiful tribute to all the unsung heroes of this battle...on BOTH sides. How exciting it must be to be a part of such an event. I looked at all the links you sent me in the email. Thanks for educating me and others about this significant event. I plan to share it with my granddaughter when she comes for her next visit.

    Love you,
    Angelic Accents

  29. Hi Marydon - will have to wait until I can get to DSL to download photos but this is amazing. I've done a bit of re-enacting and it never fails to bring me to tears, realizing what men have done to keep us free in this country. The War Between the States was NOT about slavery although those who re-write history would have it so changed. As always, war was about money, power and control and slavery was a part of that story. I'd love to come help with this one year.