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Gettysburg 150th Commemoration Kicks Off This Weekend

Gettysburg National Military Park

National Park News

The Eastern Area Incident Management Team is putting the final touches on preparations for a week of events commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Gettysburg – the community and Gettysburg National Military Park – is filling with visitors, many sporting period clothing of blue or gray.  There is an air of excitement, but also respectful remembrance of the epic Civil War battle that occurred here on July 1-3, 1863.

Gettysburg’s Sesquicentennial anniversary is about to begin.  Based on three years of planning, the nine-day commemorative event, June 29th through July 7th, is a cooperative effort among the National Park Service, the Gettysburg Foundation, the Gettysburg Convention and Visitor Bureau, and numerous community partners.  NPS and Foundation events are within the park, and the community has planned reenactments and other events on private lands outside the boundary. 

Signature events within Gettysburg National Military Park during the commemoration include:

  • A free evening ceremony on June 30th with live music by the United States Army Band, a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and dramatic multi-media presentation of eyewitness accounts of the battle.  Director Jarvis will participate along with Superintendent Bob Kirby and Gettysburg Foundation President Joanne Hanley.  The ceremony culminates with a candlelight procession to the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, where luminaries mark the graves of 3,500 soldiers killed in the battle of Gettysburg.
  • The Pickett's Charge commemorative march on July 3rd offers visitors the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Confederate soldiers who made this fateful attack from Seminary Ridge or to stand on the ground defended by Union soldiers on Cemetery Ridge.  The march ends in a playing of Echo Taps.
  • Other visitor opportunities include National Park Service ranger programs, overview hikes, battlefield experience programs, children’s programs, visits to more Civil War living history encampments, firing demonstrations and more.

National Park Service employees from over 43 parks, regional offices, and the Washington Office, working under the Eastern Incident Management Team (Zeph Cunningham, IC) are in the midst of final preparations for events in and around Gettysburg National Military Park.

Media interest is high.  Approximately 400 media representatives (print, video, radio, blog, etc.) from more than 80 media outlets have been credentialed.  NPS staff will keep the world connected with events through social media as well as traditional information distribution methods.


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