No Drums, No Bugles, No ATMs
Just came back from visiting the Civil War battlefields at Antietam. Very interesting, but I do have a few changes I'd like to suggest:
1) Please, people, do a thorough sweep of the acreage and finally get all the corpses out of the way. I was walking up to one of the historical information plaques and I tripped over not one but two Confederate skeletons. Then, an hour later, I was setting myself for a lovely panoramic shot of the area and WHOMP, the dead body of a Union cannoneer flopped out of the trees and clipped me on the shoulder as it came down. We are paying a national park patrol good money to make sure these things don't happen!
2) The Monument to Decapitation is a nice thought---after all, why shouldn't we honor those brave lads who lost their melons in battle---but the accompanying statue is both gruesome and inaccurate, what with that soldier holding his own head under his arm and the head blowing a bugle. It just doesn't work.
3) The Wall of Incredible Cowards is visually stunning, but shouldn't Peter Astleby, the 17 year old Virginian who turned tail and ran at the first sign of Union smoke, be ranked higher than General William Walter Brown, who actually did fight for upwards of sixty seconds before turning to the man at the front of his rifle company and remarking famously, "You can take all this and put it where the sun doesn't shine; I am totally out of here"?
That's all. Aside from those flaws, the battlefields are solemn and inspiring. But since everyone who fought there is long dead, would it really hurt to move the whole apparatus closer to the central business district to maybe take advantage of those incredible outlet stores?