It was melancholy for me because the Gettysburg Heritage Center is located right on the parade route, near its end point. During the parade itself there were few folks inside the Center, so I had time to walk out and watch the National Regiment pass by. The 5th New York (Duryea’s) Zouaves were in the lead, in the position of honor as the left flank company, and Sykes’ US Regulars brought up the rear with the honor of being the right flank company. They were sharp as a tack, and, as always, I was proud, although a bit sad that I was not marching with my friends. You see I haven’t actually been in the field with the Regiment for the past few years. Nevertheless, many of my old pards managed to glance their eyes sideways and wink or smile when they saw me on the roadside. I saluted the National Regiment’s Color as it passed by my position, and gave them my biggest smile as the companies went by one by one.
I remembered when each year Col. Terry Daley, the first commander of the National Regiment, and I, as the then Adjutant, would stand along the parade route in front of the Farnsworth House while the Regiment conducted a Pass in Review – band playing – eyes right – to salute their Colonel. It was my honor to serve, and I miss those days. I guess it’s just another small reason for calling it Remembrance Day. At least for me it is.
As for me, I was very fortunate to be a featured author, on Saturday and Sunday, at the Gettysburg Heritage Center, formerly known as the wax museum. Although the Center featured all of my books, I especially liked to talk to folks about my newest book and the Battle of Little Big Horn and its famous participants George Custer and Sitting Bull. Thanks to Tammy Meyers and her staff for all their help in a successful couple of days.
I think everyone would agree it was a great weekend. The weather was a fine autumn day, the parade was amazing, and there was a special appearance, of actor and education advocate, LeVar Burton at the National Cemetery where he commemorated Lincoln’s Address.