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War Memorials

Throughout the history of man, he has revered and memorialized the places their armies have met and fought. Among the earliest monumentation efforts are the obelisks commemorating the defeat of the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Roman Legions. Around the world, arches and temples have been erected to glorify the combatants of the battlefield.

Monuments, built by the victors, proud of their triumphs, informing the world of their greatness. However, behind the glory and boasting lay the true message, understood by all future generations, that war is the most traumatic human experience. Men go to war and form an army; when they go into battle, they are acutely aware that his may be the only life lost. Nothing else delivers a man face to face with themselves and what is best or worst in them. Therefore, the battlefields have become hallowed ground the world over, and nowhere, more than in America, that went to war with itself in 1861 and turned the landscape red with its own blood.

After the War Between the States, North and South, the veterans' organizations pressured state legislators to provide funds to erect monuments honoring the wartime deeds of valor. Soon, almost every village had at least a stone or tablet honoring the men who had fought.

The intent behind the memorials was reflected in one soldier's prayer at a dedication at Antietam, "I beseech Almighty God that this and all similar monuments may teach our children's children lofty lessons of American Patriotism."

In order to create a memorial worthy of the ennobled legions of both North and South, and in the spirit of patriotism during the Civil War, Mr. Casteel will bring together the present day noted historians to formulate the particular battles and or events to be sculpted. Thus, a complete memorial, not an individual marker denoting a regiment or person and telling only a fraction of the whole story, but an overall National Civil War Memorial.

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