One of the popular “high holy days” at Gettysburg is the weekend commemorating “Remembrance” of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. For the past few years, the weekend has also featured an impressive luminaria in the National Cemetery, sponsored by the Gettysburg Foundation. It is reminiscent of the one held at the Antietam Battlefield, and I and friends have very much enjoyed walking through the cemetery on that usually-crisp fall evening, listening as volunteers read the names of the Civil War dead buried there. Otherwise, the place is very silent and respectful, giving the visitor much to ponder.
On the Park’s website is listed the calendar for the weekend. At 1:00 pm on Saturday, Nov. 16, will be the parade through town, usually drawing thousands of Federal and Confederate reenactors and civilian impressions. A highlight of past parades for me and many others was seeing my old friend Brian Pohanka leading his sharp 5th New York Infantry boys. The past couple parades without him just haven’t been the same – but his regiment continues on, marching proudly every year. The parade is sponsored by the Sons of Union Veterans, and all impressions are welcome.
On Monday the 19th, at 9:45 am will be the annual commemoration of Lincoln’s address in the National Cemetery (it’s always on Nov. 19 regardless of the day of the week). The event is sponsored by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania and the Lincoln Forum Symposium of Gettysburg College. Keynote speakers will be Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and novelist Jeffrey Shaara.
During the weekend, there will also be many other events in town and on the battlefield, such as living history/reenactor events, monument memorial services, and author/artist appearances. I will be conducting two book signings on Friday and Sunday at the bookstore in the Gettysburg Visitor Center. I will be there Friday from 1pm to 5pm, and on Sunday from 9am to Noon, signing copies of Plenty of Blame to Go Around. If any of my readers will be in town, please do stop by and say hello.
Civil War Interactive has a nice page on the weekend’s events here.
Let’s hope the weather is decent for the events – I have been to Remembrance Day weekends when the temperature has been 72 with sunshine, and 22 with snow – and everything in between!