Magazine cover features battlefield luminarias

November 02, 2006

FREDERICK, Md. - The cover of the latest issue of the statewide magazine Maryland Life features the annual luminarias at Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg.

The annual Antietam Battlefield illumination includes 23,110 candles placed throughout the national park. One candle is placed for every soldier killed, wounded or missing during America's bloodiest single-day battle.

The cover photo was taken with snow glistening, as the sun was setting. The photo is by local photographer Judi Quelland.

"We're very pleased with this issue's cover photograph and cover article," said Dan Patrell, the magazine's publisher and editor.

"The stirring photo was taken just as the sun was going down, on a cold December evening. It shows the thousands and thousands of candles all in straight lines - a truly moving sight."


Maryland Life celebrates life across all of Maryland, through full-color photo essays, in-depth stories, travel, dining, home and garden, dcor and more.

Tom Riford, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, serves on the magazine's advisory board and said it is exciting to have the local attraction featured on the cover.

Riford said this year's annual Antietam Memorial Illumination is Dec. 2.

"It is something everyone should see at least once in their lifetimes."

That evening, the park is to open at 6 for the annual display, Riford said. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held Dec. 9, he said.

The Battle of Antietam was fought Sept. 17, 1862.

The 18th annual event will utilize more than 1,400 volunteers, who light candles inside brown bags. The lights glow throughout the park, as more than 20,000 vehicles slowly pass through with their lights dimmed.

Riford said many visitors have contacted CVB, saying how stirring the illuminations are.

"We have heard from people throughout the country. It's one of the signature events that takes place in Washington County, and probably the most thought-provoking and moving in the state of Maryland."

The Battle at Antietam is considered a turning point in American history. President Lincoln released the Emancipation Proclamation, which began the process of freeing the slaves, following the battle.

The illumination shows visitors how large the battle was and how many losses were suffered, Riford said.

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