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Staci Clipp | Around South Hagerstown | June 16, 2013
The community is invited to St. John's Lutheran Church this week for vacation Bible school.  At “Athens: Paul's Dangerous Journey to Share the Truth,” families will step back into time to ancient Greece and the story of Paul's second missionary journey. Children and adults will participate in a Bible-times marketplace, sing songs, play games and visit with Paul daily.  The school begins Monday night at the church, at 141 S. Potomac St. in downtown Hagerstown, and will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each night.
By ROXANN MILLER | | June 15, 2013
As part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Allison-Antrim Museum in Greencastle hosted five nationally recognized Civil War speakers on Saturday. Ted Alexander, chief historian at Antietam National Battlefield, presented “Military Units of Franklin County in the Civil War.” Diseases such as measles and chickenpox could kill you back then, Alexander told those who assembled in the barn behind the museum to listen to his talk. “Diseases quickly whittled down a regiment,” he said.
Harry Nogle | Around Sharpsburg & Keedysville | June 14, 2013
Local Civil War historian and author Steve French will be the guest speaker Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m. at Ferry Hill Plantation across the river from Shepherdstown, W.Va. French will discuss lesser known Civil War actions that occurred along and near the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in the Ferry Hill area. The informal talk is a part of the Ferry Hill Sunday Circles series and will take place on the front porch of the Ferry Hill house. Ferry Hill is a 19th century plantation house that sits on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River and Shepherdstown.
By JENNIFER FITCH | | June 9, 2013
The compass, measuring chain and hand-drawn map displayed by Bob Angle and Wayne Twigg during a Gettysburg (Pa.) Festival Fringe Event on Sunday bore little resemblance to the tools the men use in their daily work as surveyors. In fact, when volunteer surveyors with the Mason & Dixon Line Preservation Partnership set out in recent years to locate stones placed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the 1760s, they used GPS technology to document what they found. Still, the more primitive tools used for five years in the 18th century established the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania that put an end to land skirmishes.
June 3, 2013
Monocacy National Battlefield will host a regular schedule of free summer ranger programs. On weekdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., National Park Service rangers will present “Race to Washington,” an orientation to the Battle of Monocacy. On Saturday and Sunday, the battlefield orientation will be presented at 3 p.m., with additional programs covering a variety of subjects offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The 11 a.m. programs will focus on the history of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Junction through stories about the Civil War, civilian life at that time, and the experiences of free and enslaved blacks.
By CALEB CALHOUN | | May 27, 2013
Jeanette Easterday of Mount Lena honored American soldiers, particularly those who have been killed, at the Mount Lena United Methodist Church Memorial Day Service, by saying they decided to “stand and fight” instead of “cut and run.” “For every veteran who marches in a parade, there's another who will never march again,” Easterday, a member of the church, said Monday. “Please don't forget them.” More than 20 people, including veterans, attended the church's Memorial Day service late Monday morning.
By DAVE McMILLION | | May 26, 2013
From the Civil War, when those who gave their lives led to “a new birth of freedom,” to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when the nation's resolve was tested, military personnel in the country have risen to meet something bigger than themselves, a former Washington County Commissioner and retired U.S. Army official said Sunday. Ronald L. Bowers' comments came during an annual ceremony in front of the Washington County Courthouse in commemoration of Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor the nation's men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
By CALEB CALHOUN | | May 25, 2013
With Memorial Day approaching, Anna and James M. Harnish of Fairview this week decorated their son's grave at St. Paul's Church Cemetery near Clear Spring. The couple placed flowers, a cross and a pinwheel in memory of their son, James L. Harnish, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Germany in the 1960s. He died in 2007. Anna Harnish, 81, said although the flowers were artificial, she did her part to keep alive an American tradition that dates to the aftermath of the Civil War. “It signifies remembrance,” she said.
By CALEB CALHOUN | | May 24, 2013
Sharpsburg Elementary School fifth-grader Kahlin Stydinger said placing American flags on the graves at Antietam National Cemetery was a way to reward the Civil War soldiers buried there because of what they fought for.  “That's the only reason why we don't have slavery today,” she said. “All of these people sacrificed their lives.” Sharpsburg fifth-grader Mason Gumm also said placing the flags by the graves recognizes what the soldiers accomplished. “These people helped this country be one and unite both halves, the south and the north,” he said.
Memorial Day may kick off the summer season, but in Washington County, it also prompts a measure of reflection.  War has played a large role in the history of Washington County, and with it a connection to the broader American story.  It has given us a shared sense of community. Antietam, of course, ravaged the homes and fields around Sharpsburg during the Civil War, and less than a century later, the Allied war effort harnessed Washington County's manufacturing to help win World War II. More recently, men and women have answered the call and fought in the Middle East.
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