This past Memorial Day weekend, Mark Peterson visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to document the pilgrimage of tourists and self-professed patriots to the site of the 1863 Civil War conflict that killed or wounded over 51,000 people. In some ways, that war still isn’t over.
OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, the United States has seen fierce, sometimes violent debates over the existence of Confederate flags and monuments across the South, proving that history can be hard to get past … if one can deem it “history” at all.
“The election turned on race and economics, which is what the Civil War was fought over,” says Peterson. “We haven’t moved beyond this as a country. The notion of red state and blue states is just blue and gray.”
A Gettysburg Battlefield Tours bus passes through the national military park."Everyone has to try and get along and understand other opinions," says Eddy Roberts of Bridgeport, Texas.A sign in a store window in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
“Political correctness is going to make us have a race war. Nobody’s allowed to just think for themselves.” —Janet Arone
“For some reason man has lost faith in his fellow man. Somehow, someway, we have to get back to understanding each other and helping one another.” —Tim Hodge
“I think we can’t come together without seeing our mistakes we made in the past and fixing those mistakes and taking responsibility for them.” —Abrigail Jozefowicz
“Equality for everyone in every way—that will bring the country together.” —Robin Jackson