Thursday, October 26, 2006

Old Simon

Old Simon, the massive forty-four foot seven inch, 250-ton center statue in the Antietam National Cemetery, honors the individual soldiers who died during this dreadful conflict. Dedicated September 17, 1880, this monument officially bears the name "The Private Soldier". He forever stands watch over the 4,776 Union soldiers buried on these grounds while he faces North, towards home.

At Old Simon's base, a few simple words speak clearly of the men whose ground he shares and whose memory he honors.

"Not for themselves,
but for their country.
September 17, 1862"

Of the 1,836 unknown soldiers buried in this cemetery, the United States National Park Service sadly notes, "All of the unknowns are marked with small square stones. These stones contain the grave number, and if you look closely on a few stones, a small second number represents how many unknowns are buried in that grave."



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