With Remembrance Day Weekend well on the way, Gettysburg Foundation is offering many unique, non-ticketed events to visitors and residents alike this week in honor of the occasion. Many events begin sooner than the actual date, and many of them are non-ticketed, free events that are open to the public.
Remember to begin your Remembrance Day happenings tomorrow, Nov. 18, with two special event offerings. Both are centered around Lincoln’s travel to the town and then his overnight stay.
Between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, you are invited to explore the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station, completely free of charge. Light refreshments will be provided during the event, in which visitors can explore and learn all about the station and its history. A historic symbol that dates back to 1858, the structure that makes up the station once served as a hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg. Dead and wounded soldiers were transported to other cities across the east, following the battle, through this very station. This was also the station where Abraham Lincoln arrived in at during his November 1863 visit to deliver the Gettysburg Address. The Lincoln Railroad Station is located at 35 Carlisle Street in Gettysburg. For more information on this event, click here.
After Lincoln arrived in at the station he stayed overnight at the David Wills House along with numerous other dignitaries on the eve of Nov. 18, 1863. The Wills Family hosted a total of 38 guests in their home that night before the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. And now guests are invited to tour the home for free during this non-ticketed event. Come see the office of David Wills, where he oversaw the creation and dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery as well as the room in which President Lincoln spent the night, putting the finishing touches on his now immortal Gettysburg Address speech. The David Wills House is located at 8 Lincoln Square. This event is cosponsored by the Gettysburg Foundation and the Gettysburg National Military Park. For more information, click here.
On Nov. 19, the actual date of the original dedication, there will be an actual Dedication Day Ceremony taking place at 10 a.m. at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. Formally designated “Dedication Day” by a joint resolution of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in 1946, every year since 1938 on Nov. 19, the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania has held a commemorative event onsite.
Throughout the years, numerous influential figures have come out to speak at this event including: Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Tom Ridge, John Hope Franklin, Shelby Foote, Carl Sandburg, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephan Lang, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ken Burns, Stephen Spielberg, and several others. This year’s keynote speaker will be Garrison Keillor, host and creator of A Prairie Home Companion—a weekly radio program heard across the nation on over 600 public radio stations. The event will also include a wreath laying ceremony at the Soldiers’ National Monument, a Lincoln portrayer recitation of the Gettysburg Address, and a naturalization ceremony for citizen candidates held by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. To learn more about the event, click here.