LAWRENCE — Alexis Caratini heard gun shots coming from the Campagnone Common while relaxing in her house yesterday afternoon.
“It startled me,” the 20-year-old Lawrence resident said. “I nearly jumped out of my skin.”
Caratini decided to take a walk down to the common to see what all the commotion was about.
The scene Caratini experienced when she arrived wasn’t what she was expecting. It seemed like Lawrence had been transformed back in time, with a camp of soldiers in Civil War uniforms. She discovered the 11th annual Civil War Weekend being hosted by the Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard.
“This is a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s like history come to life.”
Residents throughout the region will be able to enjoy the same experience Caratini did. The weekend event continues today with camp life living history demonstrations on the common. The first cannon fire is set for noon and will continue on the hour until 3:30 p.m .
The focus of this weekend is on the Lawrencians who fought at Gettysburg.
“There is a monument that people pass by everyday and have no idea of its meaning. This helps to educate the public,” said Bob Duffy, who was dressed as a captain in the 14th Brooklyn Regiment.
Duffy said it is vitally important that people understand what happened in the Civil War.
“It changed everything about our country,” he said. “If the Civil War didn’t happen, who knows where our country would be right now.”
Duffy said people learn more about history from these types of events than they do from a textbook.
“Reading a book is different than seeing it for yourself. A book can’t compare to smelling the gunfire or sitting around a campfire.”
Ashlie Jensen agreed.
“People tend to learn more when they can actually interact,” she said.