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Scenes from Antietam

July 06, 2008

Janice Czeh, Jefferson, Md.

Janice Czeh drew attention Saturday from several concertgoers at Antietam National Battlefield.

Czeh, a preschool administrator, made a bet with her husband that she would wear a bright, colorful propeller hat throughout the day. Wearing the hat to the concert was no exception.

"I'm getting $100 from my husband to wear this hat today," Czeh said with a smile. "Plus, I thought I would have fun wearing it. I'm definitely a child at heart."

Czeh said she has attended the Salute to Independence almost every year since 1984. She missed the concert one year when she was recovering from chemotherapy.

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"I love to come here for the music and to be here with my family," she said.

- Thaisi H. Velasquez

Brenda Vines, Savannah, Ga.

Brenda Vines, who was seen Saturday wearing a red, white and blue scarf, had been planning to attend the annual Salute to Independence at Antietam National Battlefield for at least a year.

"I keep coming back to Antietam because out of the different battlefields that I've been to, it seems like the best preserved in its more natural state than other battlefields," Vines said.

Vines once worked as a traveling nurse at Washington County Hospital, and she continues to come back to Washington County from her current home in Savannah in order to participate in the event.

"Antietam is a very sacred place, and it doesn't matter if you're a Union or a Confederate," Vines said. "It's a shame that brothers fought brothers and relatives fought each other for a cause."

- Angelica Roberts

Melissa Hinebaugh, Hagerstown

While many people ate, walked around or threw Frisbees Saturday, Melissa Hinebaugh sought refuge with a book under a shady tree.

Hinebaugh said she arrived at the event early and originally had laid her blanket down close to the stage.

"I came for the orchestra," Hinebaugh said. "And I thought it would be nice to hang out here all day."

With the sun in her face and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra concert still hours away, Hinebaugh decided to seek shade elsewhere and read.

"I brought a book because it (the event) doesn't start until later tonight," she said.

- Thaisi H. Velasquez

Kip Chumba, Martinsburg, W.Va.

While walking around Antietam National Battlefield, 16-year-old Kip Chumba was seen laughing with a friend and carrying a blue soccer ball.

"We're just going to mess around and just kick the ball around," Kip said.

Saturday was Kip's first time visiting a battlefield, and he said he was persuaded to come out to the celebration by his friend Cody.

"My friend said it was some good fireworks out here, so I just came to see the show," said Chumba, who attends Highland View Academy.

- Angelica Roberts

Norman Bowers, Falling Waters, W.Va.

Norman Bowers sat with his laptop in the back of his burgundy minivan Saturday at Antietam National Battlefield and attempted to connect to the Internet.

"I wanted to try and check the weather," Bowers said.

According to the retired U.S. Navy petty officer first class, he wanted to know what the gray clouds meant for the event.

Bowers has been coming to the Salute to Independence almost every year since 1998.

"I think I missed the event maybe one or two years," he said. "I like to come out here for the fireworks, the festivities and the music."

After several attempts at an Internet connection, Bowers gave up.

"WelI, I'd figure I'd take a shot," he said.

- Thaisi H. Velasquez

Diane Farmer, Jefferson, Md.

Diane Farmer playfully tossed a beach ball to a boy whom she had just randomly come across at the Salute to Independence.

"He's some little boy," Farmer said, laughing. "I just blew up that beach ball and gave it to him."

Decked out in patriotic clothing with miniature flags on top of her head, Farmer has been coming out to the event for 15 years as an effort to show her patriotism and have fun with her family.

"About 15 to 20 of us come out every year," Farmer said. "We have a picnic, sit around, laugh, talk and have a good time."

- Angelica Roberts

Paul Miller, Marysville, Pa.

Dressed in Civil War-era attire, Paul Miller was ready to fire the cannon Saturday at Antietam National Battlefield.

Miller was at the battlefield working with the State of Maryland to produce a cannon demonstration.

"We have a model 1857, light 12-pounder gun-howitzer," Miller said.

The cannon model was used frequently during the Civil War.

Miller recently graduated from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

"I was a history major," he said with a smile.

Miller said he enjoys participating in re-enactments.

"I love it," he said. "I love making sure the past isn't forgotten."

- Thaisi H. Velasquez

The Walker family, Dunkirk, Md.

Traveling as a family of five, James and Sonya Walker and their three daughters came to the celebration at Antietam National Battlefield despite the rainy forecast.

"We've been camping in Greenbrier State Park since Wednesday afternoon, so we've slept through rain and everything else," James Walker said.

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