Today I had the opportunity to meet up with Bill and Barbara Fenwick and their friend Tom Wonziewicz. We ate lunch and had a very interesting conversation. Turns out, the Fenwick’s roots can be traced back to the 1500s when their family arrived to America from abroad. Tom’s family, who happens to be of Polish decent, has a heritage dating back to the beginning of the 1800s. Tom even brought me some Polish rye bread to enjoy along the Trail.
After a great lunch, the Fenwicks and Tom returned home and I went off to visit the Carlisle Barracks. The site of the old Carlisle Indian Industrial School is presently comprised of two remnants of buildings. The remainder of the site houses barracks for the active Army War College.
After briefly viewing the only two remaining structures of the School, I stopped by the Indian cemetery to pay my respects. I found standing there, overlooking the graves of many young children, to be quite moving. I began to think how hard it is to imagine what these young Indian children felt at the time. Many were forcefully removed from their families and forced to learn, accept and adopt a completely different culture.
I departed the cemetery and went to speak with some of the soldiers on site. Unfortunately they didn’t seem to be too familiar with the history of the Indian School or of Indians in general. They were more adamant about sharing information about the Army and its history. While the information they were sharing may have been valuable to some, I find I am walking for Peace so these conversations did not interest me that much.
After visiting the Carlisle Barracks I returned to my hotel to rest for the remainder of the afternoon. Tomorrow I head south to Gettysburg. While I may have to battle more mountains, peaks and valleys, I am hoping I can do so with a little sunshine and perhaps, the absence of snow. -Correction: Tomorrow’s forecast – Wet Snow !