“Hey, let’s take a selfie.” I confess I said those words at the top of the observation tower, near the Bloody Lane at Antietam National Battlefield last weekend. And as soon as I said them, I was cringing inside. I wanted the photo because it was a gorgeous day and I was enjoying the afternoon with my friends from California who are like an uncle and aunt…and I knew we weren’t really going to be anywhere with as good of background or lighting in the rest of the trip. We lined up and grinned at the flipped camera. We did take the photo toward the south, not the actual Bloody Lane. The picture turned out nicely, but the experience became another layer of confusion I was trying to sort and understand.
So I’ve been overthinking it these last few days…and was wondering if you, dear readers, would like to join me in the overthinking process? I’m not sure that there is one “correct” answer. I do think everyone will approach and answer different. That’s good.
- How do we make sense of our enjoyment of a beautiful day or with the reality that people died on these battlefields?
- How do we temper our “passion” for the facts of the past with the realities of what happened?
- And, of course, to smile or not to smile in battlefield selfie photos?
What are your thoughts? How do you make sense of these moments?
(And if I’m just way overthinking it, I guess that’s an answer too.)