Here, Union prisoners were kept in overcrowded conditions under which
many died. The National Prisoner of War Museum honors all Americans who,
like the men held at Camp Sumter, were captured while serving their
country. Although found at a Civil War site, the museum ensures
remembrance for those taken prisoner during all of our nation’s
conflicts, from the Revolutionary War to the present.
Likewise, the national cemetery at Andersonville honors and
provides a final resting place for Civil War casualties and for veterans
who rendered service in the century and a half following the War
Between the States. The cemetery’s marble gravestones stretch out before
visitors. It is humbling to gaze upon the white markers and think that
each represents a person who helped to secure our liberty and safety.
To honor our veterans, 250 large American flags line the cemetery roads
this week at Andersonville. “We fly these flags to honor our veterans
and recognize their sacrifices,” said Jon Bradley Bennett, Andersonville
“But the best way to honor them is to never forget what they have
done and continue to do to ensure our freedom and the freedom of
What can we give to people who have given their lives so that ours
may thrive? Our nation collectively has given veterans time and space.
What Veterans Day and Memorial Day are to the calendar, sites like
Andersonville are to the land of the United States. These days and
places are set aside so that we, as individuals, may give our veterans
thanks as we remember them and learn about their experiences.