By Andrew Fletcher
On Tuesday, the AP US History and American Cultures I classes were given a unique opportunity to see firsthand one of the many pieces of history they learn about. Their trip to Gettysburg was the first conducted in a few years, and the students took advantage of the opportunity if it was presented to them. The buses left in the morning and returned around 5, so students were able to spend the afternoon witnessing what they had learned in class just a few short months ago.
The day began with a bus tour around the battlefield, stopping at important landmarks for photos and stories from tour guides. Many students climbed atop the monument built in honor of the 30,000 soldiers from Pennsylvania that fought in the battle. All were then treated to a video narrative of the battle and a closer look at Civil War artifacts once inside the museum after lunch. The students were able to learn interesting details that they may not have had the time to cover in class.
One important realization many students took away from the day was the sheer scope of the battle. The battlefield itself was much larger than many expected, and the number of soldiers that were a part of the battle was hard to comprehend. The fact that that battle was one of the turning points of the Civil War was also hard to understand while staring out at those grassy fields. The opportunity to actually see where it all happened, and imagine themselves in that time period provided a positive experience for all students. All who attended would agree that seeing history in person quantifies its magnitude much more successfully than seeing it in a textbook.