GETTYSBURG, Pa. — One hundred and fifty years ago, on the eve of the epic Civil War battle that bears its name, Gettysburg was a farming town of 2,400 people. After three days of fighting, for each one of those residents, 20 Confederate and Union soldiers were dead, wounded, or missing. The casualties totaled 46,000, the most of the war in one battle. There were 8,000 dead.The carnage from the pivotal July battle prompted President Abraham Lincoln to visit in November to dedicate a national cemetery. Toward the end of the ceremony, he delivered his landmark Gettysburg Address, 270 words that strove to give meaning to death on a vast scale and to enlist the dead in a higher national purpose, for “a new birth of freedom.”To honor the battle, remember the soldiers, and commemorate the 150th anniversary of the address, Harvard President Drew Faust and other dignitaries took the stage Monday for a panel discussion about “These Honored Dead: Death and Rebirth in the Civil War,” an event sponsored by the Gettysburg National Military Park, the Gettysburg Foundation, and Gettysburg College. Hundreds of listeners filled the visitors’ center from end to end.In addition to Faust, the panel included documentarian Ric Burns, who worked with his brother Ken to produce the 1990 classic television series “The Civil War,” and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007 to 2011, and a Vietnam veteran.Admiral Mike Mullen (from left), Harvard President Drew Faust, and documentarian Ric Burns conducted a panel discussion about “These Honored Dead: Death and Rebirth in the Civil War.” Photo courtesy of the Gettysburg FoundationLast year, Burns released the Emmy-nominated documentary “Death and the Civil War,” a work based on a book by Faust. “This Republic of Suffering” is a study of death and remembering involving the Civil War. The New York Times named it one of the 10 best books of 2008.Gettysburg was the second and last major incursion of Confederate forces into the North. It brought the shock of conflict to the quietude of the Union and made the war national, said Faust. In turn, unintended effects of Gettysburg and other battles helped to make the United States modern, as a nation whose institutions grew up around the bureaucratic needs of dealing with death on a massive scale. The government had to handle federal pensions, hospitals, record-keeping, and other demands of scale.The United States also became a country where grieving the dead became a great project, transferring it from the scale of family to the scale of nation. Gettysburg was one of five national cemeteries created during the war at battle sites to honor the dead.“Their precious, precious blood” would live on, Walt Whitman wrote of the honored dead in an 1865 poem, “in unseen essence and odor of surface and grass, centuries hence.”Whitman was a nurse during the war. His knowing, elegiac voice is used to good effect in the Burns film, which was a fourth panelist in a way. Twenty-four minutes of clips led off the event, including the introduction of “the first war of the modern age,” as a narrator related. The segment on Gettysburg focused on its July death toll and the November address: 10 sentences that were both poignant and a call to action, Lincoln’s “unfinished work” of democracy.The genius of both the film and the book is to relate a republic’s pain in a series of stories about private suffering. “Dear Father,” begins a letter by Confederate soldier James Robert Montgomery, mortally wounded. “This will be my last letter to you.” Its two pages are spotted with blood.“What happened here 150 years ago was very close to the death of the American experiment,” Burns said. But Lincoln’s address helped to recast and revive sentiment for union, he said. Faust agreed.Mullen said the number lost in three days at Gettysburg is close to what America’s latest wars have cost in 12 years. “And yet the essence is still the same,” he said, “for any one of those families” that lost a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his tenure with the Joint Chiefs, Mullen wanted the country to see “the face of the war,” he said, “the essence of those costs. [But] it is too easy to forget, or to not have a stake. We’ve made it too easy on Americans to go to war.”The Civil War was different, joining citizens and soldiers in “the work of death,” said Faust, “to make some deaths in war have this larger perspective.” It is as if Americans back then were saying “We’re going to honor them best by being different ourselves.”During the war, 750,000 Americans died from combat and disease, 2.5 percent of the population. In the South, among men of military age, 20 percent died.On that commemoration day in 1863, 4½ months after fighting ceased, Lincoln’s higher sense of purpose was accompanied by the stark reality that half of the battle’s dead were still unburied. Until frost that year, residents of Gettysburg applied peppermint oil under their noses to quell the odor of death.Faust suggested that Americans 150 years after the Gettysburg Address had let slip some sense of national purpose, one in which the Union would be a model of democracy for a world in need of it. Lincoln “thought we were a project as a nation,” she said, in a 19th century world where democracy was faltering and “becoming very rare.”Mullen lamented the present-day absence of “some kind of call to action, public speaking that calls to action.”Faust explained the context of the speech 150 years ago, marveling again at the power of history “in getting us to a deeper place.” Lincoln had toured the battlefield before delivering his address, including the spot at Herbst Woods where his friend Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds had died on July 1. Lincoln added the phrase “under God” to his address after seeing where his friend had fallen.“Lincoln was so moved by being here,” said Faust. “From the very start, this place has had … a miasma of meaning, a miasma of requiring something of us.”Mullen concurred, picking a line from the address that goes deep to his sense of purpose in the military: “That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” Americans under arms today are, as always, young, with an average age of 20 and 21, “and not a single one has ever died in vain,” Mullen said of their devotion to national purpose. Mullen feared the day “we lose that as a nation.”Gettysburg has another role in history, too, “to show what you choose when you choose war,” said Faust, remembering the scale of death’s storm that unfolded there. “Let the costs be clear.”
Governor Douglas on Wednesday will announce that a major new manufacturer will be setting up operations at IBM s Essex facility and he will formally welcome them to Vermont. The announcement will be made at the IBM Microelectronics facility Presentation Center in Essex Junction at 3:30 pm.
By Mike McGuire DAVENPORT, Iowa (April 25) – Good weather and a good field of cars were on hand Friday for the Koehler Electric Season Opener at the Davenport Speedway.Justin Kay continued his dominance in the Petersen Plumbing and Heating IMCA Late Model main.Mike Zemo Jr. jumped out to the lead after an early re-start. On lap six, Zemo had a little trouble navigating turn four and Kay slid into the top spot. He had started fourth but led the last 20 laps en route to the checkers.Mike Murphy Jr., worked his way from a fifth row start to finish second. Matt Ryan finished third with Todd Malmstrom fourth. Zemo recovered from a mid-race caution to finish fifth.Doug Crampton started the season out right with a win in the Milan Heating & Air IMCA Modifed feature. Jason Bahrs led the first 14 laps before his car suddenly slowed, giving Crampton the lead. Crampton led the last six laps and captured the win.Joe Beal started 10th but finished in the runner-up spot. Kelly Meyer ran in the top five the entire race and finished third. Tony Von Dresky made a late race charge to fourth while Mitch Morris took fifth. Twenty-seven Modifieds were in the pits for the season opener. Tyler Soppe picked up the win in the Hawkeye Auto IMCA SportMod main. Soppe took the lead from Jake Montoya on lap four and never looked back. That was good, because five cautions in the last five laps would scramble every position in the field except for the leader. Mike McGarry emerged with second. McGarry was followed by Joe Grant, Jake Morris and Andre LaPorte, in that order.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Defending champions Hunter Marriott and Elijah Zevenbergen are among the nearly 100 drivers, from 16 states and Canada, who have already pre-registered for the upcoming Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic Tour.Early entries are already in hand from 63 Modified and 35 Stock Car drivers for the 28th annual tour, which travels to five tracks in North Dakota and another in Saskatchewan.Opening night is Saturday, July 8 at Jamestown Speedway. The tour travels to Nodak Speedway in Minot, on July 9, Estevan, Sask., Motor Speedway on July 10, Williston Basin Speedway on July 11, Southwest Speedway in Dickinson on July 12 and Dacotah Speedway in Mandan on July 13.Modified features pay $2,300 to win, a minimum of $300 to start, and are qualifying events for the upcoming Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. Stock Cars race for $800 to win and a minimum of $125 to start each night.Modified pre-entries have been received from:Randy Artz, Battle Mountain, Nev.; Reese Artz, Battle Mountain, Nev.; Cody Bauman, Eureka, Ill.;Hank Berry, Sidney, Mont.; Tom Berry Jr., Medford, Ore.; Bland Bohannon, Williston; Chris Bragg, Springtown, Texas; Brian Brennan, Rozet, Wyo.; Jarrett Carter, Lisbon; John Corell, Jamestown; Tracy Domagala, Bismarck; and Jason Grimes, Jamestown.Mike Hagen, Williston; Travis Hagen, Williston; Tyler Hall, Fertile, Minn.; Brad Hartigan, Dickinson; Troy Heupel, Williston; Vernon Hill, Black Eagle, Mont.; Rusty Hodges, Beatrice, Neb.; Jesse Hoeft, Forest City, Iowa; Jordan Huettl, Minot; Kyler Jeffrey, Williston; Wayne Johnson, Minot; Jeremy Keller, Mandan; and Billy Kendall, Baxter, Minn.Allen Kent, West Fargo; Rusty Kollman, Carrington; Tommy Lee, Grenora; Curt Lund, Redwood Falls, Minn.; Michael McCarthy, Hutto, Texas; Josh McGaha, Abilene, Texas; Les McLenehan, Estevan, Sask.; Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif.; Marriott, from Brookfield, Mo.; Clay Money, Penokee, Kan.; Dale Neitzel, Shepherd, Mont.; Jay Noteboom, Hinton, Iowa; and Justin O’Brien, West Union, Iowa.Travis Olheiser, Dickinson; Tyler Peterson, Hickson; Steven Pfeifer, Minot; Crist Pittenger, Bismarck; Dallas Rice, Minot; Donald Robinson, Underwood; Lucas Rodin, Marion; Josh Rogotzke, Sanborn, Minn.; Joel Rust, Grundy Center, Iowa; Darren Schatz, Williston; Ryan Schroeder, Devil’s Lake; Jonathan Schumann, Mercer; and Marlyn Seidler, Underwood.And Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa; Robert Sigman, Dickinson; Casey Skyberg, Rapid City, S.D.; Shawn Strand, Mandan; Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.; Marcus Tomlinson, Turtle Lake; Myles Tomlinson, Turtle Lake; Travis Tooley, Bismarck; Travis Ulmer, Mandan; Tyler Wagner, Weyburn, Sask.; Jason Wolla, Ray; and Justin Zeitner, Malvern, Iowa.Stock Car drivers already pre-registered are:Jeffrey Abbey, Comanche, Texas; Westin Abbey, Comanche, Texas; Jayden Bears, Smithville, Mo.; Tim Compson, Valley City; Austin Daae, Estevan, Sask.; Beau Deschamp, Bottineau; Cody Dignan, Burlington; Chris Ellis, Surrey; Dalton Flory, Williston; Joe Flory, Williston; Scott Gartner, Aurora, Colo.; and Greg Gill, Muscatine, IowaMike Gotch, Regina, Sask.; Gary Goudy Jr., Stoughton, Sask.; Chris Hortness, Estevan, Sask.; Jason Kniffen, Minot; Matt Lang, Turtle Lake; Curt Lund, Redwood Falls, Minn.; Keith Mattox, Ray; Kevin Mattox, Ray; Perry Misner, Albert, Kan.; Angel Munoz, Lamar, Colo.; and Shane Nehring, Williston.Cody Nelson, Kenmare; Jake Nelson, Williston; Joe O’Bryan, Round Rock, Texas; Kyle Pfeifer, Hill City, Kan.; Jason Schoenberger, Russell, Kan.; Randy Schultz, Swift Current, Sask.; Scott Sim, Williston; Chad Sterling, Stockton, Kan.; Jeremy Swanson, Westby, Mont.; Michael Vennes, Minot; Jody York, Lubbock, Texas; and Zevenbergen, from Ocheyedan, Iowa.Title sponsor Kupper Chevrolet provides tour point funds of $2,000 for the Modifieds and $1,000 for the Stock Cars. Drivers in both divisions also earn contingency awards from numerous IMCA and local sponsorsIMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Side Biter Chassis North Central or EQ Cylinder Heads Northern Region, and Allstar Performance State points will be awarded at each draw/redraw show.Transponders and RACEceivers are required in both divisions.A Modified past champion’s provisional will be given on opening night while pre-registered drivers only will be eligible for single high points provisionals each of the next five nights. A sponsor’s provisional will complete the starting grid for each Modified main event.Modified drivers are also required to compete at a minimum of three tour events to become eligible to qualify for the $10,002 to win Corral Sales Legendary 50 on Friday, July 14 at Dacotah Speedway.All six Dakota Tour events as well as The Legendary will be broadcast by IMCATV with a daily or yearly subscription (to subscribe visit www.imca.tv). Highlights will be featured on the IMCA Racing Rewind and the Dirt Knights documentary series via cable channel MAVTV at a later date to be announced.