Each month, Central Penn Parent recognizes a child who is doing great things throughout their communities. They are a blessing to those around them—yet their efforts often go unrecognized. We want to thank them for a job well done!
Some say, “if you don’t learn history, you are destined to repeat it.”
But Andrew Adam went one step further and not only learned history, he is honoring it in a big way.
Andrew, a Cumberland Valley High School junior, spent the past two years leading the charge to create Unity Park—a community park in Gettysburg designed to honor the musicians and young men who fought in the Civil War.
“The idea came from my younger brother, who noticed that there were no monuments dedicated to the musicians and the many young boys/men who fought in the Civil War,” Andrew recalled. Both boys are re-enactors. “After doing some research, we could not find any monuments dedicated anywhere in America to this group and decided to tell their story by dedicating a monument and park.”
The centerpiece of the park is a statue of a drummer boy, cast in bronze, by local sculptor Gary Casteel. The pedestal was made from silver cloud granite from a quarry in Atlanta, close to where some battles occurred.
Four pathways—two from the North and two from the South—come together in the center, with four custom benches featuring navy frames and grey seating material and inlaid belt buckles from the Union and Confederacy.
Standing over the park are three flags, the current American flag, the flag of the union and a flag of the confederacy during the Civil War.
The park also features three educational boards that focus on the history of American field music, music and its important role as a means of communication, music and its role in unity during the war. “I had a number of history experts advise and help me with the educational boards,” Andrew explained. “A lot of effort and time went into the content that educates visitors on the history, communications and unity of the music that was played during the war.”
Knowing modern-day youngsters are tech savvy, Andrew incorporated some modern design into the park. The educational boards feature QR technology so that visitors can scan codes and listen to drum and bugle calls and Civil War-era music. “I am very proud to say that the U.S. Military Academy West Point Band, under the management of Sgt. James Barnard, performed the music for the Unity Park interactive page,” he said.
The park was two years in the making and cost more than $200,000, which was raised by donations from many local businesses and organizations.
The project earned Andrew the 2016 Pennsylvania State Eagle Scout of the Year award presented by the Pennsylvania American Legion.
Unity Park is located at Baltimore and Lefever streets in Gettysburg.
Andrea Ciccocioppo Rose is editor of Central Penn Parent.