Jim and I lived in a house on Pinnell Street in 2000, we were connected in a way that I thought nothing would ever destroy that. It was a closeness, we were one. My birthday just got over, and one morning Jim surprised me, he wanted to take me to Gettysburg. I was there in 1998, on the 135th anniversary, it was there we met. I was thrilled, at the idea of this adventure to go there.
We called his daughter, Haley she would watch the house. I was glad of that because I had flowers hanging on the porch, they would be taken care of. We grabbed our cameras and soon we were on the way from Gettysburg, leaving from Buckhannon, West Virginia. Soon I found out that we would see the implosion of the National Tower in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Jim explained that the Civil War battlefield should be more authentic so they were demolishing this tower.
We were going to be spectators rather than participants, which would be rather weird since I am used to being a reenactor. However, when we got there we did have a chance of looking at the monuments that honored the units of those who fought and died here. We walked hand in hand as we saw this battlefield, and soon to ate in one of the restaurants and talk about the ghosts that haunted this town and battlefield.
Soon we were off, to see Gettysburg. We walked in the stores, and past the Jennie Wade House, where the only civilian was shot. We were sure that her spirit walked the streets at night. We stopped to listen to others about this great battle that would shape this nation. I couldn’t help it but when I saw a re-enactor I was envious. However I enjoyed watching them.
On July 3rd, 2000 we would watch the implosion of the National Tower. It was a beautiful tower and never really understood the destruction off it, it a was a masterpiece soon to be doomed. Ii had my Pentax camera, with zoom lens and got all of the implosion in detail, others did too as they watched this. The Civil War made more sense to me than this destruction. This was a two story observation deck that towered over the National Cemetery.
We got there about 2:00 P.M. As 5:00pm – neared, the countdown began, I made sure the camera was ready, during this time I zoomed in on Jim’s nose and took a picture of that picking on him about how big his nose was. However the countdown was getting closer and I looked at his watch. He was timing it, 5 minutes, 4 minutes, 3 minutes two minutes, one minute and now it was down to seconds. At this point, the storm was closer, and at first I mistook the thunder I heard for the implosion. We waited a couple more minutes, at 5:02, there were cannons in the distance.
The first round of cannon shots had been fired. I was ready, Jim was too. Thirty seconds went by. Then a closer cannon shot. Ten seconds went by. Then, an ear-piercing KABOOM!!! Definitely dynamite. The crowd reacted with murmurs, and we waited as the tower lingered. Then we saw it gracefully fall to the ground, with as much dignity that it could fall. This piece of architecture was destroyed.
We got up and went to talk about this, and then went to the panorama. There Jim told me that would be destroyed too. I don’t know if it was or not, but the painting in the building was beautiful, it was done to honor those who died here. We were tired and headed back to the motel, and before we went to bed we strolled through the cemetery.
In the morning we went across the street for breakfast and soon would go to the Angle and walked that field, just imaging how it was on that day. We strolled these fields hand in hand talking about Pettigrew’s Charge and the other name for that charge, We went into a small woods as we walked across the Angle.
Then we were off to Little Round Top, Big Round Top, and then to the Devil’s Den. One could feel the pain and anguish of the soldiers that died for us, that died for what they believed in. They were noble men, that should never be forgotten as I thought these thoughts and climbed the rock by the Devil’s Den and then we saw it. We saw the fireworks, this would honor those who died. As we watched these fireworks, we sat down and I felt a closeness to Jim, as he held me watching those fireworks until they faded away.