Gettysburg Remembrance Day weekend is an annual event that commemorates the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery, now known as the Gettysburg National Cemetery, on November 19, 1863.
On that day in the cemetery, Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, a brief but powerful statement that emphasized equality, democracy, and the need to strive and fight for the foundations of freedom just months after the pivotal battle and while the Civil War continued to wage on. It has become recognized as one of the most powerful statements of freedom and liberty in the English language.
The cherished highlight of the weekend is the Remembrance Day Parade, a poignant event where participants don Civil War-era costumes from both the Union and Confederate forces. These dedicated reenactors march through the historic streets of Gettysburg, playing simple brass instruments to the rhythmic cadence of steady drums. This unique and moving spectacle pays tribute to the past and serves as a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made during one of the most significant battles in American history.
The route of this unique parade passes directly in front of The Brickhouse Inn. This year’s parade will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 19, 2023.
Since 1938, the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania has commemorated Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address on its anniversary at the original site. The event includes a touching wreath-laying ceremony at the Soldiers’ National Monument to honor more than 3,500 Union soldiers buried there. The day’s events begin at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, November 19th.
Following the ceremony, the Dedication Day program unfolds at the cemetery Rostrum. Recent program additions include a Naturalization and Citizenship ceremony in collaboration with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Each year, a distinguished keynote speaker sheds light on the profound importance of Lincoln’s speech. This year’s keynote will be delivered by author and political analyst Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Presenting the Gettysburg Address will be the Emmy-nominated actor Graham Sibley.
The home of Gettysburg attorney David Wills was the center of the immense clean-up process after the Battle of Gettysburg and where President Lincoln put the finishing touches on his Gettysburg Address. The historic David Wills House will be open and free to the public from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
See the National Park Service’s Remembrance Day page for more details. Many other cultural events take place over the weekend. Find other cultural events happening that weekend on Destination Gettysburg. Past Lane Travels offers a wealth of information on what to expect on Remembrance Day Weekend, other major events and general tips for visiting Gettysburg.