Thursday, April 28, 2011
Grant's Tomb Site, I was really intrigued. The National Parks Service (along with others) had planned a 21 gun salute, re-enactments, time period musicians (see left) and periodic firings of an antique cannon (see photos below).
The day was more than what I had hoped for in terms of all the activities. The re-enactments with fully costumed Union soldiers, and even a "General Grant" (see right) was truly a sight to behold.
I was a little disappointing in that they were not offering ranger guided tours. I was, however, able to find a very amenable ranger who told me a great deal about the memorial. He had been a ranger for only 9 months and perhaps it was this newness that made him so enthusiastic and friendly, but somehow I think they select for those characteristics when they staff the various national parks--at least that has been my experience (see my prior blog about Teddy Roosevelt's birthplace or Federal Hall, both staffed with rangers).
Grant's Tomb photos if you can't make it to the memorial).
Almost all of the above you can pretty much see any time, but what is special every April 27th are the re-enactments. If you've never been to this special event, I'd put it in your calendar now for next year. Of course, check out the website for updates, but this was fun and totally different from anything I've ever experienced. The men dressed as Union soldiers fired the cannon throughout the day (see below).
The boom from the cannon was so loud that my ears were ringing for a good 10 minutes. I loved it!
P.S. By the way, I noticed that in the monument, among the numerous wreaths from various historical societies and veterans groups, there was a wreath that had a card that simply said, "The President." I doubt that President Obama had much to do with actually sending this, especially as he sought fit to stop of all traffic in mid-town during rush hour on the day, but I did think it was neat that at least someone at the Obama White House was remembering our 18th President (credited with winning the Civil War and ending slavery) on the anniversary of his birth.