On Saturday, December 2nd, the park hosted the 18th annual battlefield memorial illumination, an event commemorating the 23,000+ casualties of that battle. Secretary Dirk Kempthorne was the featured speaker at the eventâs opening ceremony. Secretary Kempthorne had an ancestor who was wounded at the Battle of Antietam and included that connection in his remarks. Regional Director Joseph Lawler and Congressman Roscoe Bartlett also provided remarks welcoming and acknowledging the nearly 800 volunteers who placed the candles throughout the day. Attendance was much higher this year, with approximately 3,500 vehicles passing through the park to view the display. There were no significant incidents during the event. Traffic control and security for the event were provided by Antietam staff, National Capital Region rangers from Harperâs Ferry and Catoctin, officers from the Washington County Sheriffâs Department, volunteers from Hagerstown REACT, and members of the secretaryâs protection detail.