A Fellowship June like no other

06 Jul 2023 6:03 AM | Wendy S. Allen (Administrator)

This article originally appeared in the pages of the Gettysburg Times, June of 2023. It was penned by Wendy Allen of the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, in the hopes of sharing the work the Fellowship does.

One of the chief features of our One Hundred Nights of Taps, Gettysburg program is to educate.

One Hundred Nights of Taps, Gettysburg strives to provide a profound educational experience for the visitors.  On our Taps logo, we feature the words “Inform, Inspire, and Involve.” Yet we cannot inform, we cannot inspire, we cannot involve without educating the visitor about how it was that the Gettysburg National Cemetery came to exist in the first place--about who it is that rests eternally under it’s stones--and about why the national cemetery and the actions of those individuals still matter so deeply, nearly 160 years after its creation.

This year, the educational portion of the program, Enduring Pathways, are presented by Lincoln Fellowship volunteers, the Gettysburg National Park rangers and the Eisenhower National Historic Site rangers.
On June 6, Ranger Dan Vermilya from the Eisenhower National Historic Site spoke about the brave soldiers, killed in action on D-Day, buried in Gettysburg National Cemetery. His meticulous research brought these brave Americans to light for the visitors that evening. Bugler, Steven E. Snyder from Rosendale, NY, sounded Taps.

One June 7th, the Fellowship hosted Last Post Association Buglers, Raf Decombel and Jan Callemein, from Ypres, Belgium, and Delegation of Flanders members, on a goodwill tour, Mathieu Mottrie and Elien Werbrouk. Once again, Ranger Dan Vermilya told the story of Adams County native, Pvt. Charles Albert Shuyler. Shuyler was killed in action in Ypres, Belgium on Nov. 5, 1918, and ultimately reinterred in Gettysburg National Cemetery. Renowned bugler, Jari Villanueva sounded Taps for the program. Jari was key to leading the delegation to Gettysburg. This visit was very meaningful to me because in 2001, I visited Ypres, Belgium.  After touring the battlefield, I witnessed the nightly sounding of Last Post, at the Ypres’s Menin Gate. This experience was the inspiration for the current One Hundred Nights of Taps, Gettysburg program.

On June 10th, we honored visiting Lincoln scholar, Harold Holzer. He is one of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. President Bush awarded Holzer the National Humanities Medal in 2008. Today he serves as The Jonathan F. Fanton Director of Hunter College's Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. He has been the keynote speaker here in Gettysburg twice, in 2005 and again in 2017. His depth of knowledge about Abraham Lincoln is unequaled. We use his scholarship for our Enduring Pathway educational segments.

June has been an educationally robust start to the One Hundred Nights of Taps,Gettysburg, program season. Join us in July for more compelling educational stories. As Fellowship board member, Dr. Ashley Luskey stated for the opening ceremony, “by educating, we inform; by informing, we inspire; by involving, we honor, and by honoring, we remember. And when we unite around that remembrance, our nation reveals itself at its best”.

One Hundred Nights of Taps, Gettysburg, 2023 is sponsored by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania and the Gettysburg National Military Park in partnership with Taps for Veterans, the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, and the Eisenhower National Historic Site.

Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)3 Organization
P. O. Box 3372, Gettysburg, PA  17325

Email:  lincolnfellowshipofpa@gmail.com

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