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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to honor Lincoln, Address on Dedication Day, Nov. 19

Event to wrap up year-long Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration

(Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) - 11/16/2009


Carl Whitehill
Media Relations Manager
Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau
(717) 338-1055

Nearly five months after more than 165,000 soldiers retreated from the streets and fields around Gettysburg, the town of just 2,400 residents assembled “to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place,” known as Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

Of the thousands who came to Gettysburg that Nov. 19th, 1863, to help pay tribute to those soldiers who so bravely gave their lives in the Battle of Gettysburg was a man that would make the day – and himself – a part of American history.

President Abraham Lincoln secured his legacy in Gettysburg with just 10 sentences, a mere 272 words. His speech, polished for the final time the night before in the second floor of the David Wills house on the town square in Gettysburg, turned the town from a place of tragedy into one of hope that the nation would fulfill the dreams of their forefathers.

Nearly 150 years later, that speech – known, of course, as the Gettysburg Address – remains one of the most famous in world history. School children from all parts of the globe recite the speech in history and English classrooms and scholars continue to study Lincoln and the Address’ significance on American history.

On Nov. 19th, 2009, Gettysburg will honor Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address with a ceremony in the very cemetery he delivered it 146 years earlier.

Highlighting the event will be Academy Award Winning Actor Richard Dreyfuss, who’s not only a lifelong student of history, but has taken part in several documentaries about the Civil War and is now an advocate for bringing civics lessons back into American classrooms.

Also speaking will be Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

As part of the Dedication Day event, a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m., followed by the keynote presentation and recital of the Gettysburg Address, a naturalization ceremony to which 16 immigrants will be sworn in as American citizens, and the morning is capped off with a salute to the U.S. Colored Troops buried in the Gettysburg cemetery.

Dedication Day is sponsored by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, the Gettysburg National Military Park and the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College.

The Saturday following Dedication Day is Gettysburg’s annual Remembrance Day, a time to honor the soldiers’ who fought and died on these fields. The day – on Nov. 21 – begins at 1 p.m. with a 1 p.m. parade of several thousand Civil War re-enactors and ends with a solemn Illuminary in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, where candles and flags mark the graves of Civil War soldiers buried there.

For more information on Dedication Day, visit or call (800) 337-5015.

For a complete list of Dedication Day and Remembrance Day activities in Gettysburg, visit