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Gettysburg marks 142nd anniversary of the dedication of National Cemetery

(11/10) "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

These words, the beginning of the most famous two-minute speech proclaimed in our country will once again be shared on the commemoration of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the dedication of the Soldiers national Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This November 19 marks the 142nd anniversary of the dedication.

The day’s commemoration will begins at 9:45 am with a wreath laying ceremony at the Soldiers’ National Monument in the Gettysburg National Cemetery on Taneytown Road. This will be followed by a commemorative ceremony that will include Mr. James Getty presenting the Gettysburg Address, portraying President Abraham Lincoln. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr will give the keynote address. The Gettysburg College Chapel will be used as a rain location for the keynote address.

At 1:30 PM the annual Remembrance Day parade will begin and process through town to the Albert Woolson Memorial in Ziegler’s Grove. The parade will include hundreds of Civil War Brigades marching in honor of those fallen at Gettysburg.

That evening, from 5:30 ­ 9:30 pm, visitors are encouraged to return to the Soldiers National Cemetery for the annual Remembrance Illumination. The Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg sponsor this silent and peaceful honor. Each Civil War soldiers’ grave will be honored with a luminary candle as attendees pay their respects to those "who here gave their last full measure of devotion."

The 44th Annual Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture will begin at 8 pm at the Majestic Theater on Carlisle Street. Gary W. Gallagher, John L. Nau III Professor of the History of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia, will speak on ‘The Progress of Our Arms’: Whither Civil War Military History?. Performances by the Sunderman Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble and the Gettysburg College Camarata will precede the Lecture. A public reception will follow at the Theater at 9:15 pm.

All events are free and open to the public. Additional activities including a Civil War Ball will also be held on November 19th at a fee. For more information contact the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-337-5015 or

Gettysburg Dedication Day Ceremony Features Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. and Lincoln Scholar Harold Holzer

Since 1938, Americans have been gathering in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to commemorate the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s "Gettysburg Address" and the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. On November 19th, the 142nd anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania will welcome the Honorable Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., United States House Representative from Illinois, and Harold Holzer, co-chairman of the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission "Congressman Jackson has shown a deep interest in the Civil War, as well as Abraham Lincoln," says Dr. Gabor S. Boritt, Director of the Civil War Institute. "He is an excellent speaker and a leading, important member of the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission which is preparing the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth in 2009." Representative Jackson has served in the House of Representatives since December 1995. He currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee and is the fifth ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education as well as the second ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs. In addition, he has served as a member of the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission since 2003, and as a member of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Board since 2000. Prior to his congressional service, Representative Jackson served as the National Field Director of the National Rainbow Coalition Representative. He also created a voter education program to teach citizens the importance of participating in the political process, including how to use technology to win elections and more effectively participate in politics. Jackson resides in the Second Congressional District of Illinois with his wife Sandi, daughter Jessica Donatella, and son Jesse L. Jackson III. Also sharing the rostrum will be Harold Holzer. Holzer is one of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. A prolific writer and lecturer, and frequent guest on television, he serves as co-chairman of the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, appointed by President Clinton in September 2000, and elected co-chairman in 2001. Holzer has authored, co-authored, and edited 23 books. His latest book, Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President, won a Lincoln Prize in 2005. Holzer currently serves as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and resides in Rye, New York with his wife Edith. The Holzers have two daughters, Remy and Meg. The Dedication Day Program, cosponsored by the Gettysburg National Military Park and the Civil War Institute of Gettysburg College, will begin at 9:45 a.m. with the Laying of Memorial Wreaths at the Soldiers’ National Monument. Following the wreath laying ceremony, the program will resume at 10:00 a.m. at the Rostrum in the Soldiers' National Cemetery, where Representative Jackson and Harold Holzer will speak. The ceremonies will conclude with President Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by Jim Getty, reciting the "Gettysburg Address." Past speakers have included Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, William Rehnquist, Jack Kemp, Mario Cuomo, Colin Powell, Shelby Foote, Sandra Day O’Connor, John Hope Franklin, George Pataki, Lynne Cheney, Frank Williams, and Tom Ridge. This event is free and open to the general public, and in the event of inclement weather, will relocate to Christ Chapel on North Washington Street on the Gettysburg College campus.

A Special Guided Tour for Remembrance Day

This Remembrance Day, November 19, join the Licensed Town Guides for a special presentation of Abraham Lincoln in Gettysburg. This 90-minute walking tour will focus on President Lincoln’s time in Gettysburg on November 18 and 19, 1863. Tours will begin at the Historic Christ Church, 30 Chambersburg Street, on November 17, 18 and 20. Due to the large number of special events and the traditional parade, no tours will be given on Saturday, November 19. Additional information is available by calling 717-337-3491.

Follow in the footsteps of President Lincoln as your guided tour travels from the town square to the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. Your guide will cover the months immediately prior to the dedication of the National Cemetery. You will also hear about Lincoln’s arrival and stay in Gettysburg, the dedication ceremony and the events that followed it.

Tours will begin at 10 am on Thursday and Friday, continuing throughout the day. Sunday, November 20, tours will begin at noon and continue throughout the day. The last tour will depart at 4 pm on all three days. The Historic Christ Church, 30 Chambersburg Street, is just one half block west of the Lincoln Square. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more, please call 717-337-3491. Tickets will be sold 30-minutes prior to tour departure.

The professional Town Guides are licensed by Main Street Gettysburg, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of Historic Gettysburg. For more information on the Town Guide program or Main Street Gettysburg, please visit

Friends to host 3rd annual Remembrance Illumination in Soldiers’ National Cemetery

The Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg will present the third annual Remembrance Illumination on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg.

More than 3,500 luminary candles will be lit on the graves of Civil War soldiers as a testament to those who fought so bravely on these and more distant fields; the event is free and open to the public.

Related activities will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Rupp House History Center, 451 Baltimore Street. Scheduled guests at the Rupp House include Harold Holzer, renowned Abraham Lincoln scholar and author of Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech that Made Abraham Lincoln President, and popular living historian James Getty, whose portrayal of Abraham Lincoln has received national acclaim. Holzer and Getty are honorary co-chairs of this year’s Remembrance Illumination.

More than 150 volunteers are helping the Friends make this event possible.

"The Friends, as part of its mission, is committed to honoring the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg," said Barbara J. Finfrock, Friends’ chair. "We are honored to present this event as a testament to those who sacrificed so much and have such an important place in American history."

Visitors will be able to enter the National Cemetery via both of its entrances—Baltimore Street and Taneytown Road (across from the National Park Service visitor center). Parking is available in the Visitor Center and Cyclorama Center lots. In keeping with the solemnity of the event, no flash photography or video camera lights will be permitted within the Cemetery.

Founded in 1989, the Friends is one of the largest battlefield-preservation organizations in the country. The organization’s mission—on behalf of all generations of Americans—is to honor, support, protect and enhance the resources associated with the Gettysburg National Military Park, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Eisenhower National Historic Site.

For more information about the Remembrance Illumination or about the Friends, call 717-334-0772 or visit

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