Photos and text by Karl Merton Ferron
Marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, about 1,500 volunteers spent all day walking around the hills outside downtown Sharpsburg to put a common goal into action. After measuring grids to line each row, over 23,000 luminarias were placed in remembrance of the bloodiest single day in U.S. history. Adults helped children return to each bag and light every Antietam candle. Although some of the luminarias extinguished in the sustained wind, most remained lit, well into the night, commemorating the 28th annual Memorial Illumination at Antietam National Battlefield.