Monday, May 10, 2010

Battlefield Etiquette

Do not climb on or sit upon the monuments or cannon. It is disrespectful to the men who fought, were wounded and killed on the very ground upon which you are standing. Many of the monuments you see were placed on the battlefield by the veterans themselves in honor of their service and their fallen comrades. Many of the markers stand in areas that saw the heaviest fighting, mark significant events during the battle, troop positions and camps, or where specific individuals died.

A battlefield is not a playground or a ball park. If you bring children to a national battlefield, do not let them run wild, or leave them unsupervised. Monuments, markers and cannon are not playground equipment and should not be treated as such. Do not allow your children to climb upon them, and do your best to try to keep the noise level down to a minimal level. Do not bring sporting equipment and play ball among the monuments, not only is it disrespectful to the memories of the men who fought and died there, it is incredibly disrespectful to your fellow park visitors.

Picnic in designated picnic areas only. Many battlefields have designated picnic areas. Do not pick a spot and set up camp to have a meal in the middle of a battlefield.

Do not leave trash in a National Park or battlefield for others to pick up. What you take in to a national park you must also take out. Pick up your trash and take it with you out of the park, or place it in designated trash receptacles. Do not leave it for others to pick up. As Woodsy the Owl used to say, “Give a hoot. Don’t pollute!”

Do not park your vehicle directly in front of a monument. Period. I do not care if there is a parking spot there or not. Others may want to read or photograph the monument in front of which you may be parked. Go on a little bit further down the road, pull off to the side and walk.

Yield to the person with the camera. Do not linger in front of a monument or marker when it is obvious that there is some one wanting to take a photograph of a monument, marker or battlefield vista. Move out of the way, it only takes a second to take a picture, and if you are in the frame you will be remembered forever, and probably not in a good way.

I would love to hear any other ideas, or rules of proper behavior & etiquette to be used when visiting a national battlefield. Please feel free to comment.

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