Keith and Emma Ashley of Rocksprings recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a delayed trip to Gettysburg. They were married on Sept. 3, 1977, at Racine Baptist Church by the late Rev. Freeland Norris. Due to other commitments, the couple delayed their celebration by attending the annual Remembrance Day celebration on the third Saturday of November at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This celebration is held to commemorate the anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It is the largest Civil War parade in the United States.
The weekend featured hundreds of Civil War reenactors, both men and women, in period dress. The parade included Civil War military bands and fife and drum corps, along with the soldiers.
This year’s celebration was marred by a fanatic, who sent a letter to the local newspaper claiming he would bomb the parade if Confederate flags were flown. The FBI, along with state and local police were present on foot, on horseback, and in plain clothes. Dump trucks and other cement blocks were used to barricade the parade route to prevent a terrorist in a vehicle driving into the parade.
Accompanying the Ashleys on the trip were their daughter and son-in-law, Brent and Rachel Dennis , along with the Dennis’ four children, Bryce, Crockett, Gavin and Valerie. After the parade, the family toured the battlefield making a stop at the monument to the 75th Ohio Volunteer Infantry — the only military group including Meigs County soldiers in the battle.
The Ashleys have two other daughters, Whitney Ditty and Emily (Mrs. Matt) Deckard, along with five other grandchildren.
Information submitted by Keith Ashley.