A minor story of the Reunion told of two men, a Rebel and a Yankee, walking hand-in-hand one afternoon through the streets of Gettysburg. Together, the men went into a hardware store, purchased a hatchet, and walked a mile and a half to the battlefield. Reaching the Bloody Angle, they dug a hole in the ground and buried the hatchet, crying and embracing each other all the while. I have no doubt that, with the right amount of provocation and/or whiskey, they would have dug it up the very next day. As perhaps it should be, since it is the persistent burying and digging up of the hatchet that makes a nation. This Fourth of July, as we stab each other in saloons and attack each other with forks, we do so as part of a great tradition, all in the name of national unity.
–Stefany Anne Golberg, writing about the 50th anniversary reunion of the Battle of Gettysburg. The whole piece is very affecting. This Fourth of July, it is worth remembering that there is a great deal more that unites us than divides us, and if we are able to bear in mind that we were able to overcome deep and wrenching divisions in the past, today’s challenges should properly seem surmountable by comparison.