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Journey to America, trip report number 3: Gettysburg on the 4th of July

During our grand tour of the US earlier this month, we had the pleasure of visiting Gettysburg, Pennsylvania — site of a critical battle during the American civil war. The battle took place some 146 years earlier, in 1863. Between 46,000 and 51,000 Americans perished here over the course of three days. ((Overall, more than 600,000 men died in the Civil War. This amounted to 2 percent of the country’s population. If an equivalent conflict happened in 2009, given the current US population of roughly 307 million, the death toll would be a staggering 6,140,414.))

Moreover, we visited Gettysburg on America’s Independence Day, July 4th — this was precisely 233 years, to the day, after the adoption of the US Declaration of Independence.

In short, patriotism was in the air.

We watched a film about the battle at the impressive Gettysburg visitor’s center. And then we checked out the Gettysburg cyclorama, which dates to the 1880s, as well as the main exhibit.

In addition to brushing up on my American history, I learned this:

Americans love American flag apparel.

Especially at Gettsyburg.

And especially on the 4th of July.

There were American flag T-shirts. There were American flag baseball caps. There were American flag sweatshirts. And as you’ll see, in the image below, there were even…

American flag Zubaz trousers. (You have to look closely, at the third person from the left.) Is nothing sacred, I ask you?

Gettysburg, PA -- on the 4th of July!

Bonus bit of Americana: I spotted, not far from the entrance to the Gettysburg visitor’s center, this amazing establishment with an improbable name: Mulligan MacDuffer Adventure Golf and Ice Cream Parlour. It embodies so many things that I love about the US: our foreign roots; our passion for sport; our entrepreneurial nature; and — perhaps most of all — our deep love for all things fattening and calorically dense.

Sometimes I really miss the USA.

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