Remembrance Weekend – Gettysburg (Nov. 16-19)

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!

Published in: on November 7, 2007 at 11:24 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Just wanted to echo J.D.’s post on the weekend, especially for those who have not had the chance to be in Gettysburg this special weekend.

    IIRC, this will be the 10th year in a row that J.D., I and our friends will be together taking in the events of the weekend. Hard for me to believe that 10 years have passed, but it is always a special time, and usually our last Civil War Trip of the calendar year. Since the luminaria event started a few years ago, it just added to the experience, and puts what those who fought and died at Gettysburg into perspective. It’s a very moving experience to walk around the National Cemetery that evening, and something that all should try and get a chance to see in person.

    As to weather, for once it will not be hot or too cold, and temps are gonna be in the 50’s during the daytime.

    Regards from the Garden State,

    Steve Basic

  2. Amen, Steve – the luminaria has become my favorite part of the weekend. Without exception, I always make a stop in the cemetery part of every visit, but this one is always very special. No matter where you are in the cemetery, you can hear the Gettysburg Foundation (formerly FNPG) members reading the names of the interred.

    And I’m glad to hear the weather won’t be too bad – so I guess I won’t need my arctic suit this time!


  3. Dang it, Col.! You had better be in full regulation, Col. Devin attire, or I may not even speak to you! 1860’s style wool uniforms beat arctic suits any day of the year!

    Your humble and obedient servant (yeah, right!)

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