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P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
10/19/20 6:41 p.m.

Maybe somebody here can add some light. The other day I was down on Sullivan's Island in South Carolina, looking across the channel at Fort Sumter for the very first time. I'm a big history buff, I read a lot of memoirs mostly, Because I love to get the perspective of people who were there at whatever the historical event was, and I have watched the Ken Burns Civil War series, back in junior high. I don't go to battlefields or sites of actual events, although I find pictures of those places really engaging, trying to picture what people were thinking when going through them. And it's not like I was all sad for the south at taking the first step toward losing or some thing, nor particularly emotionally invested in the fact that the north lost a fort, but for some reason --and I just cannot understand it -- standing there on the beach looking over at the famous Fort Sumter just kinda got me in the feels. I misted up a little. 
 

Anyone else??? What was that about??

thedoc
thedoc Reader
10/19/20 7:01 p.m.

I think we all should get emotional in these places.  Good on you!

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
10/19/20 7:02 p.m.

That's in my neck of the woods. We used to hang out in the forts on Sullivans when I was in HS. I tend to let my imagination wander when I'm over there. Sometimes it's pretty spooky to stand on top of the battlements and imagine what it was like to hear and see a shell being fired. If your imagination is good enough, close your eyes. It can be pretty intense. 

Then go stand on Ft Sumpter and imagine the same thing with the shells coming at you instead. Or Battery White. That battle was pretty tame compared to a lot of the war since there were few if any deaths. Stand on the battle field at Antietam where 3600 men died. BTDT. 

I'm pretty sure the Normandy beaches would be incredibly moving with its 70k+ souls.

 

 

 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/19/20 7:10 p.m.

Google "empath."  You might be one.  I be one.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
10/19/20 7:10 p.m.

There is absolutely something powerful about standing in or near a place that real history happened. It doesn't surprise me you felt it. 
 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
10/19/20 7:13 p.m.

I don't know any names on the Vietnam Wall in DC but I shed tears at the monument and what artifacts families had left.  Same thing in Oklahoma City.  It does get emotional.   
 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/19/20 7:18 p.m.

I was born in 73, so I have no recollection of the Vietnam war, yet I was humbled and moved to tears at the memorial.

It shows that you have an adaptive sense of emotion.  I know people who could look at things like that and say, "yeah that's a shame... what's for lunch?"  It doesn't make them bad people, in fact, it makes them part of what makes the human population wonderful.  I can't.  I feel the stories, think about their families, wonder how they died.

I think it's part of what my empath tendencies do.  I think it may just be how brains are wired differently.  Some people don't have brains that think in those ways and some do.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
10/19/20 7:24 p.m.

I have a tough time when I hear Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
10/19/20 7:26 p.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

Interesting as I always say every bagpipe song sounds like Amazing Grace to me.  

New York Nick
New York Nick New Reader
10/19/20 7:31 p.m.

I have been to the US cemetery in Normandy France. Walking down to the beach and seeing the impossible task that those soldiers faced was entirely moving. I was there with one of my co-workers and I  recall neither of us said a word the entire time. There were just no words that I could put to what I was seeing. 
NYN

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
10/19/20 7:40 p.m.

I think strong emotions leave some sort of echo or vibration or energy signature in a place. Our nervous systems run on electrical energy and I think we can sometimes pick up the echo in a place. Some people are more receptive than others, and anyone can put themselves in a frame of mind that's more receptive. Empathic people are more naturally tuned to the emotional wavelengths of the people around them and to sites like that. 
 

I've had similar experiences at historic sites. The WW2 sub in Detroit comes to mind, as well as the fort in old St Augustine and a couple others. 

adam525i (Forum Supporter)
adam525i (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
10/19/20 8:08 p.m.

Touring WWI sites in Northern France and Belgium was a really powerful experience, the weather that day only added to it with passing showers and foggy weather. Standing on the edge of Passchendaele looking up the hill knowing how many young men were killed for those few hundred meters and then visiting the countless graves sites and memorials scattered around is something I wont forget. 

I visited the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton on my way through a number of years ago and they have a collection of ex-presidential aircraft on display. It was at the end of a 6 hour sprint through the museum for me after getting up very early and doing the 6 hour drive to get there that I made it to this section. A number of the aircraft are open to walk though (with thick plexiglass protecting everything) including SAM 26000, standing in the spot where Lyndon B Johnson took his oath of office with Jackie Kennedy beside him still covered in her husbands blood while looking at the following picture and reading the history was something I was not prepared for or expecting (especially as a Canadian).

jgrewe
jgrewe Reader
10/19/20 8:25 p.m.

I've found the more you know about places and history, the more being there will affect you.  I visited Gettysburg with family as a kid, meh...

I visited Gettysburg in my mid 20's, let's just say I'm glad I had sunglasses on.

I've walked up the steps at the Lincoln memorial and noticed people talk quieter as they reach the top and then pretty much whisper walking around.  Even though I knew the words engraved on the walls couldn't read them because they were engraved blurry.

Nitroracer (Forum Supporter)
Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/19/20 9:00 p.m.

Gettysburg is a short drive from where I live and somedays the gravity of that situation really rings clear.  The number of people who died there is staggering.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
10/19/20 9:16 p.m.

I visited Hiroshima.

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
10/19/20 9:22 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

That would be intense. 

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
10/19/20 9:28 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

I was born in 73, so I have no recollection of the Vietnam war, yet I was humbled and moved to tears at the memorial.

It shows that you have an adaptive sense of emotion.  I know people who could look at things like that and say, "yeah that's a shame... what's for lunch?"  It doesn't make them bad people, in fact, it makes them part of what makes the human population wonderful.  I can't.  I feel the stories, think about their families, wonder how they died.

I think it's part of what my empath tendencies do.  I think it may just be how brains are wired differently.  Some people don't have brains that think in those ways and some do.

I deliberately won't go to places like the Vietnam memorial. I feel like my father a combat veteran  of WW2 does about memorials. 
Why glorify the horror?  

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UberDork
10/19/20 9:35 p.m.

I understand, and have had similar experiences.

I agree with Curtis that it seems to be a form of empathy.  Beyond that, I think these things cannot be explained. Of one thing I am sure, the emotion you felt is something genuine, even if I can't explain it.

I can share my experience of when I visited Temple Wood in Arygle, Scotland.

This is a site dating back about 5000 years, with stone circles, grave cists and nearby burial cairns. It's been a sacred site for a long time.

My dad had traveled there years before. It was December, long after dark, and he was crouching against one of the standing stones trying to keep himself and his camera warm while awaiting the moonrise. His companions (Helen, my dad's Scottish girlfriend, and my brother) had returned to the car to get warm. The ground was frozen, so any footsteps would be audible, yet he suddenly realized that there was a child standing a few feet away, staring at him. He said nothing, and just as quickly, she was gone.

When he returned to FL, he continued to correspond with Helen, mostly by sending cassettes.  On a tape he received the next summer, she said she was going to Temple Wood the next weekend. 

"I wonder if I'll see the wee lass."

He'd never told Helen or my brother about seeing this child. When he replied, he asked Helen to describe "the wee lass." She described exactly what he remembered.

Twenty one years later, I parked in the car park, got out of the car after picking up my camera, and walked into the older of the two circles. Immediately, I had a powerfully intense feeling of...something. I can't characterize it, the closest I can come is some sort of anticipation, or recognition of the onset of something, but I have no reference to compare it to.

When my wife saw the look on my face, she took the camera strap from my neck to take my picture, which grounded me in the moment again. Whatever I was feeling had disappeared. After she took the camera, I tried to relax and let the feeling return, and it did momentarily, but then my dad started talking, and it was over.
Just like you, I've been left wondering, "What happened?" I don't think we can explain it.

When we returned to Edinburgh, I talked to Helen about my experience. Helen was an educated woman, an RN, a midwife, and after retiring, returned to University to study history.

Her theory is that our DNA has a form of memory, and that an ancestor of mine had a connection to that site. I have to give her opinion weight, since she is the only person I have ever known for whom time wasn't a linear event. I offer as one of many examples the time my dad took her to the harness racing track. She picked the first two horses for nine races in a row, but wouldn't gamble because, "It would be cheating."

Or, had I set myself up to react to this place after hearing my dad's story? Does that explain it? Is any explanation more plausible than another?  Is it relevant that in the intervening years, the grave of a child had been found at Temple Wood?

All I know is, I need to go back.

 

 

 

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/19/20 10:00 p.m.

Ever seen the Nationals Anthem at a Blackhawks game? I tear up anytime I’m there. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa SuperDork
10/19/20 10:06 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

I don't know any names on the Vietnam Wall in DC but I shed tears at the monument and what artifacts families had left.  Same thing in Oklahoma City.  It does get emotional.   
 

When I was stationed at DC I volunteered for the wall cleaning detail a couple times.  When we were cleaning I noticed someone had kissed one of the names.  I took a quick picture and cleaned that section.  At a later date I noticed someone had again kissed that name.  I took a slightly better picture that time.

I've wondered about both of those people so many times.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
10/19/20 10:07 p.m.

Autocrossing with the ATL region in the parking lot that used to be Fulton County Stadium. Seeing the diamond still represented in the parking lot, and the piece of wall where 715 went over. I'd be lying if I said I didn't get choked up on more than a few course walks when I ran there.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
10/20/20 7:17 a.m.

I embarrassed myself at dinner one night with another couple, talking about the Tomb of the Unknown.  I got really treary and couldn't talk.

Your feelings are just how you feel.

jharry3
jharry3 HalfDork
10/20/20 7:27 a.m.
Mr_Asa said:
Datsun310Guy said:

I don't know any names on the Vietnam Wall in DC but I shed tears at the monument and what artifacts families had left.  Same thing in Oklahoma City.  It does get emotional.   
 

 

When I was stationed at DC I volunteered for the wall cleaning detail a couple times.  When we were cleaning I noticed someone had kissed one of the names.  I took a quick picture and cleaned that section.  At a later date I noticed someone had again kissed that name.  I took a slightly better picture that time.

I've wondered about both of those people so many times.

I would have had a really hard time washing it a 2nd time...  

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/20/20 8:09 a.m.
New York Nick said:

I have been to the US cemetery in Normandy France. Walking down to the beach and seeing the impossible task that those soldiers faced was entirely moving. I was there with one of my co-workers and I  recall neither of us said a word the entire time. There were just no words that I could put to what I was seeing. 
NYN

I was going to say the same thing, as well as walking around the woods surrounding Bastogne where the 101st Airborne defended the city.  Lots of foxholes still in the forest.  Pretty sobering.

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/20/20 8:16 a.m.
frenchyd said:
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

I was born in 73, so I have no recollection of the Vietnam war, yet I was humbled and moved to tears at the memorial.

It shows that you have an adaptive sense of emotion.  I know people who could look at things like that and say, "yeah that's a shame... what's for lunch?"  It doesn't make them bad people, in fact, it makes them part of what makes the human population wonderful.  I can't.  I feel the stories, think about their families, wonder how they died.

I think it's part of what my empath tendencies do.  I think it may just be how brains are wired differently.  Some people don't have brains that think in those ways and some do.

I deliberately won't go to places like the Vietnam memorial. I feel like my father a combat veteran  of WW2 does about memorials. 
Why glorify the horror?  

So that we really, REALLY think about getting into a fighting battle.  Sure, the people who went through it do not need to go there and remember.  But the rest of us show go and remember how horrific war is.  Otherwise, war is just glorified and we get another random one started for random reasons for the "glory of fighting a war".   Can't forget, that's was exactly the thinking going into WWI.  

All memorials are good places to contemplate.  Revoutionary War sites (or North American Civil war to Adrian... ) are pretty incredible that government treatment can get so bad that people are willing to sacrifice their lives over an issue.  Really, the US Civil war was the same thing- but the differences are what's worth fighting over.  I can go on, but every site should make you think about what convinced people to go to war.  And was the war really justified. (sometimes it VERY much is, and sometimes it's not).

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