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Meet the Rasmussens of Fredericksburg, Va.

An interview with Color Bearer members

"I truly value the work the Trust does to save these irreplaceable treasures. Peggy enjoys the battlefield visits, and humors me greatly."

Peter Rasmussen, Color Bearer

Color Bearers Peter and Peggy Rasmusen
Color Bearers Peter and Peggy Rasmusen

American Battlefield Trust: What moved you to first give to our organization? 

Peter: I have been interested in battlefields since I was about 10 years old. On a 10-hour drive to DC in high school, I insisted that my dad detour to Antietam and we walked the whole field while my brother broke out in heat rash. I truly value the work the Trust does to save these irreplaceable treasures. Peggy enjoys the battlefield visits, and humors me greatly. 

What do you enjoy most about being a Color Bearer?  

We love the annual donor weekend. It is so much fun to meet like-minded people from all parts of the country, people from so many different backgrounds committed to a common cause. The staff does such a great job in organizing the tours and events. Can’t wait for the next one! 

What is your favorite battlefield you’ve visited? 

We live in Fredericksburg, so visiting one of the great battlefields near us is a regular occurrence. We also love the sites saved by ABT, such as Slaughter Pen and First Day-Chancellorsville. We think we find Antietam the most compelling because it is the easiest to visualize what really happened. 

What would you like to pass on to future generations? 

I would like for them to know that our great conflicts, the revolution, the Civil War, were waged by ordinary men (and women), and not demigods. They missed their families, just like us, they were frightened just like us and they experienced failures, tragedies and triumphs just like us.   

If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?

Abraham Lincoln. We would love to talk about his youth on the prairie (Peggy is from Indiana, Peter from Illinois) and how he overcame such obstacles. We would like to hear how he dealt with the tragedies in his life, the burden of the war, and his love of the theater. 

Anything else you want to share? 

When I was about eight, my dad bought me a book by Robert Alter called “Heroes in Blue and Gray.” Some 54 years later, I still have it, and despite being surrounded by hundreds of volumes on the war around me, I still pick it up from time to time. I think about my history that that of the country when I do.