Batman to spread message of hope in Gettysburg
31 August, 2018

Batman to spread message of hope in Gettysburg

The dark knight of Gotham once said, “You don’t need superpowers to be a superhero,” and children will be able to hear that message from Batman himself this weekend in Gettysburg. John Buckland, AKA Batman, travels across the country in the Hope-Mobile/Batmobile to spread hope among communities suffering from drugs, bullying, crime, poverty, hate, and […]

BY / 1 year ago

The dark knight of Gotham once said, “You don’t need superpowers to be a superhero,” and children will be able to hear that message from Batman himself this weekend in Gettysburg.

John Buckland, AKA Batman, travels across the country in the Hope-Mobile/Batmobile to spread hope among communities suffering from drugs, bullying, crime, poverty, hate, and other tragedies. Although Buckland is the one portraying Batman, he says the kids are the real heroes.

Buckland’s Batmobile carries 19 plaques for children who lost their lives too soon. Some died from cancer, some from suicide, but all have a place of honor under the Batmobile’s hood. Heroes 4 Higher members served as pallbearers for those children or supported them through their illness, Buckland said.

“They pass away, but they’re not gone forever,” Buckland said.

Through Heroes 4 Higher, the West Virginia resident uses his personal experiences with abuse and addiction to motivate others through tough times, he said. Batman and Wonder Woman, Buckland’s wife Ronda, will roll into Lincoln Square Saturday at noon to teach the “four steps to greatness” and how to turn “pain into power.” Five-year-old Skylar will accompany her super-parents.

Gettysburg’s icon, President Abraham Lincoln, inspired Buckland to visit.

“I wanted to do something in the spirit of Abe Lincoln,” Buckland said.

Like Lincoln freeing the slaves, Buckland hopes Batman can help people who are “enslaved” to vices and pain.

“It’s almost like a way for me to continue what Abe started,” Buckland said.

Buckland became a full-time superhero in 2012 after serving as a career firefighter, during which he spent two years in the Fire Service for the Department of Defense in Iraq, according to a release. He will tell the story of the obstacles he overcame, in the hope it will inspire someone, child or adult.

Buckland has been to nearly 600 school assemblies and “countless” community outreach events, like the funeral of San Bernardino shooting victim 6-year-old Jacob Hall.

The Batmobile always attracts attention, but it’s meant to be a “symbol of hope” and “rolling memorial” for those who have died.

Batman and Wonder Woman will take photos with visitors on Saturday at the Gettysburg Hotel, give away signed posters of Batman, offer “Turn Pain Into Power” DVD’s, and invite children to check out the Batmobile. The event will conclude about 2 p.m.

“We just want to encourage people through tough times,” Buckland said.

If someone is in a good place, Buckland hopes Heroes 4 Higher inspires them to empower others who are struggling.

“United, we heal,” Buckland said.

For more information about Heroes 4 Higher West Virginia Batman, visit h4hwv.com.

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