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Antietam Illumination

September 19, 2005

A somber reminder of the casualties of war, the annual illumination of Antietam National Battlefield takes place in December.

A luminaria is lighted for each of the 23,110 men killed, wounded or missing in the Sept. 17, 1862, Battle of Antietam. The luminarias cover the fields where the men fell. The battlefield is opened to cars, which wind slowly through the roads.

The event is held the first Saturday of December, making this year's illumination on Dec. 3. The rain date is Dec. 10.

The illumination opens to the public at 6 p.m. The main entrance to the event is Richardson Avenue off Md. 34. From Boonsboro, travel west on Md. 34 and a line will form on the westbound shoulder for entrance to the illumination. From Hagerstown or West Virginia, travel to Sharpsburg and head east on Md. 34, then turn around to access the line on the westbound shoulder.

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The driving tour through the park is approximately five miles long. Use parking lights only and continue without stopping. No walking is permitted. Contributions are accepted. Go to www.nps.gov/anti on the Web.

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