Occupy DC ending in a fizzle

DC’s Examiner carried the story last week:

Occupy DC’s base camp in McPherson Square morphed over the past nine months from a few dozen protesters in sleeping bags to a virtual tent city. But over the past few weeks, one of the most enduring encampments of the national anti-Wall Street movement has all but disappeared.

A library tent and a few tarps are all that remain of the ongoing vigil, and Occupiers who once spent their days in McPherson Square at the corner of 15th and K streets are mostly gone. Many of those who remain now meet in the offices that a labor union, the Service Employees International Union, rented for them a few blocks away. (read more)

Yes… departing the pattern… the protest that was more being seen than actually doing anything.

My daily walk to work passes McPherson Square (that’s Mc-fur-son!), and I’ve shared some of the scenes before. The video from the Examiner shows the square as it looked last week:


Since then, the Occupiers have dropped even more tents – including the “library” tent. The National Park Service, who administers the square, has already fenced off most of the ground for re-seeding grass. Soon the rest of the square will follow. Time to let the “grass roots” recover.

When I passed through on Friday, one of the newer signs caught my eye:

“To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards of men.” – Abraham Lincoln.

Sounds like a Lincolnism. But is it? Um… well… not exactly. It comes from a poem written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (you know the “Laugh and the world laughs with you” lady) appearing in the 1910s. Clearly the sign makers didn’t consult Wikiquotes.

Now let me ask, what would be the reaction if someone else – say, Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum – had misquoted Abe Lincoln? Or what if that sign was held by a Tea Party member?

Little Round Top: 20th Maine

Here’s one for XBrad, because I know this is his favorite Civil War story. I’m stomping around Gettysburg today and made the required stop at this monument:


Yes the monument for the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment.

Most visitors would stop there, then head back to the car. But as anyone who has read Killer Angels will recall, there was more to the story.

About 400 feet east of that monument is this marker:


When the 20th’s commander, Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, first arrived on Little Round Top the afternoon of July 2, 1863, he sent Company B to deploy as skirmishers on his left. Forty men under Captain Walter Morrell. These men were arguably the left flank of an army. They deployed along this stone wall.


As the Confederates pushed, and bent back the main part of the 20th’s line, a gap developed between Morrill’s skirmishers and Chamberlain’s line. Here’s the view back to Little Round Top from the wall:


Alabama troops attempted several charges up those slopes. But Chamberlain held. In the confusion, he had to assume Morrill was lost. With no reinforcements and limited ammunition, Chamberlain opted for a desperate charge down the slope. When that charge wheeled down, Morrill’s men rose to deliver shots into the rear and flank of the Confederates, then joined the charge.

Happened right here:


I could go on about courage, leadership, and decisiveness on the battlefield. But you’ve probably already heard that lesson.

Heck, I just think it’s six kinds of cool that I’m typing this and adding photos while standing on the actual ground!