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This Saturday Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will hold its 7th annual Memorial Luminary Driving tour honoring those soldiers who fought during the Civil War. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann spoke with organizers of the event and has this report.
Two-thousand five-hundred and thirty-nine luminaries line a five-mile path at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. Each one honors a soldier who went missing, was wounded, or died on August 10th, 1861. The event is held each year allowing visitors to drive through the lighted path, and enjoy a few historical holiday traditions. Ted Hillmer is the park superintendent for Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.
“It’s just another opportunity to see the park in a different environment. The whole purpose behind that is not because of Christmas or things like that. It’s just to give honor and respect to the battlefield and for showing that respect for those soldiers that fought back in 1861. And it’s just a neat sight to see the park; most people do not get to see the park in the evening hours. It’s just a nice atmosphere to think differently about the park as you’re driving through,” said Hillmer.
The event will begin with a ceremony for the volunteers at 4:30 p.m. Hillmer invites visitors to stop by the visitor’s center to enjoy refreshments, and to hear carolers from Kickapoo and Glendale high schools singing melodies from the 1860s. He adds that visitors should stop at the Ray House along the path, which is the only remaining historical structure at the battlefield, to enjoy classic holiday décor and carolers. Admission is free and the park will remain open until 10 p.m. that evening. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.