I don’t think the Brits could have asked for a more appropriate and moving tribute to those soldiers who were lost on this 100th anniversary of the battle of the Somme. On July 1, thousands of “ghost soldiers” descended on public spaces throughout the country. Reenactors handed out small cards with information about the soldiers they represented. Apart from the occasional singing of “We Are Here” the men remained silent.
Over the past ten years I have written about a wide range of very thoughtful and moving commemorative events that honor the Civil War soldier, but other than a small handful, I can’t say that they rise to this level of emotional engagement. I can only imagine what it was like to witness it in person.
It also leaves me wondering what lessons might be learned moving forward about how Americans honor and remember Civil War soldiers.