Whitewater’s Independence Holiday events begin at 4 PM this afternoon along the Cravath Lakefront (this evening there will be a pageant, carnival, live music, and food vendors).
On this day in 1863, the Union Army is victorious at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Recommended for reading in full:
Elaine Godfrey writes ‘Nothing Prepares You for the Inhumanity of It’:
Congresswoman Madeleine Dean: The women were worried about their own health. Two of the women have epilepsy. We talked about toothbrushes. One said, As a result of the medication I take for epilepsy, my teeth are harmed and I have very little access to toothbrushes. She revealed her teeth in terrible condition.
Another woman said, Feel my back, and on the upper portion of her back was a large lump. [The guards] said, Yeah, that’s something that needs a biopsy, but we can’t take care of that here.
Everybody was crying. One woman, 58 years old, clearly the eldest in this grouping, kept sobbing and sobbing, saying, I don’t know where my daughter is; she’s 23 years old; we were separated. Another woman seated next to her said,Two days ago, my 18-year-old daughter and I were separated from the tents; I don’t know where my daughter is. I asked the guard if they could guarantee me that they would find out exactly where these daughters are and if they would facilitate communication. He said, I know exactly where they are; I already told her—just that kind of flippant information.
I said to the women, You’re being detained here like criminals; what is your crime? The one who could speak the best English said, The crime is, I crossed the damn river. I wanted to come to America. I’m fleeing Cuba and political problems there. My family is not sure where I am. That’s the crime for which they’ve been detained 56 days.
The other thing they were worried about was retribution. They whispered to those [lawmakers] who could speak Spanish and said, We’re worried they’ll take this out on us, since we’ve spoken to you and told you about these conditions.
Adam Serwer writes A Crime by Any Name:
Detainees described overcrowding so severe that “it was difficult to move in any direction without jostling and being jostled.” The water provided them was foul, “of a dark color, and an ordinary glass would collect a thick sediment.” The “authorities never removed any fifth.” A detainee wrote that the “only shelter from the sun and rain and night dews, was what we could make by stretching over us our coats or scraps of blanket.” As for the food, “our ration was in quality a starving one, it being either too foul to be touched or too raw to be digested.”