Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – a town that nearly 150 years ago found itself in the crosshairs of the American Civil War's most famous battle – will mark the of those pivotal days throughout 2013 with battle re-enactments, new exhibits and programs, tributes and soldier encampments along with special tours and the opening of the newest Civil War experience.
In July 1863, Union and Confederate soldiers clashed on the fields and in the streets of this small town in what would become the most tragic battle of the four-year war. When the smoke cleared after the three-day battle, there were more than 50,000 casualties, and a town that would never be the same.
Four months later, President Lincoln made the train ride to this same community to deliver "a few appropriate remarks," known as the Gettysburg Address. His short, 10-sentence speech is long-remembered and secured his legacy as one of America's most famous presidents.
Throughout 2013, Gettysburg – along with neighboring communities in both Pennsylvania and Maryland – will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of this battle and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
Four million people from around the world are predicted to visit this region this year to learn, to pay their respects and to reflect on the nation's course of history.
At the heart of this year-long commemoration are 10 days – from June 28 through July 7, known as "Gettysburg 150: Reflections of History" – that will feature two large battle re-enactments, Gettysburg National Military Park's Official Commemorative Ceremony – "A New Birth of Freedom”, military and medical encampments, lectures and programs, special tours of the town and battlefield. There will also be the grand opening of the Seminary Ridge Museum, an experience dedicated to the first day's battle and Civil War medicine, as well as faith and race issues during the war.
Events in surrounding communities such as Cashtown, Hanover, Hunterstown and Union Mills, Md., will also be held during this 10-day commemoration to bring further understanding to the events that led up to the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.
In November, to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and the dedication of the country's first national cemetery, a ceremony will be held in Gettysburg to highlight Lincoln's famous speech and to honor those same soldiers that the 16th president did nearly 150 years ago.
Remembrance Weekend – a time when Gettysburg pays tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of those 160,000 soldiers – will be held November 22-24 and will include a large-scale military parade on November 23, Civil War balls and a variety of events for both re-enactors and the public.
For more information about Gettysburg's 150th Anniversary Commemoration, visit www.gettysburgcivilwar150.com or call (800) 337-5015.
For more information about top events in Pennsylvania take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Pennsylvania.