Gettysburg group

New Gettysburg documentary
offers insight, emotion and discovery


Alan Stout


Dr Anthony Mussari and his wife Kitch are shown with the students from North Plainfield High School who appear
 in their new documentary, ‘Walking Into The Light at Gettysburg." 

“Walking Into The Light At Gettysburg,” a new documentary produced by Dr. Anthony J. Mussari of Dallas, offers more than just a remarkable history lesson on what remains the most intense military battle on American soil. It also offers a lesson in self-discovery.

The film is part of Mussari’s ongoing "Face of America" project, which he has developed with his wife, Kitch. For “Walking Into The Light At Gettysburg,” the two bring 10 students from the North Plainfield High School in New Jersey to the Gettysburg National Military Park. And not only does the group find the visit to be educational and enlightening, but in some ways, life-altering.

And why wouldn’t it be?

Standing on the grounds and amid the monuments where there were more than 51,000 casualties and where more than 7,000 fell to their death, the students – and those that view the film – are provided with not only some staggering statistics on the battle of Gettysburg, but also poignant human stories that made the battle even more heart wrenching. The group also receives “visits,” courtesy of gifted actors, from General Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln, who offer some thoughtful perspective on the Civil War.

Throughout the documentary, Mussari continuously paints the perfect backdrop to the tour. Stunning quotes from Lincoln and Lee frequently appear on the screen, as well as timepiece photographs, paintings and video reenactments. There is also appropriate music and – most importantly – appropriate sentiment. Indeed, when the students offer their final thoughts on their time at Gettysburg during the film’s final moments, some important lessons are revealed. And as one young teen recites a poem that she had written inspired by her visit, there are also a few tears.

And perhaps that is the greatest triumph of “Walking Into The Light At Gettysburg.” It teaches. It inspires. And it captures the emotions one might feel while standing at one of America’s most hallowed grounds exactly 150 years after it became such a landmark. For schools that are unable to take such a memorable field trip, the film in many ways, can take them there. And, after seeing the film, those schools within driving distance of Gettysburg that have never offered such a trip to their students may be inspired to do so. Regardless, those that view it will likely look at their country and perhaps even themselves a bit differently. And, as is the case of 10 bright-eyed kids from New Jersey, both might be for the better.