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Gettysburg prepares for Address's 150th anniversary - abc27 WHTM

Gettysburg prepares for Address's 150th anniversary

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GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Each chair is unfolded with precision as if it were the eve of the Address itself.

"There was a great sense of anticipation, and I think for many people it was really about closure," said Katie Lawhon of Gettysburg National Military Park.

It's now about commemorating the two-minute speech that Abraham Lincoln gave to dedicate the newly formed Soldiers' National Cemetery.

"People were tired of the war they were ready to give up on it especially after the terrible battle of Gettysburg," said Lawhon.

Lincoln saw this as an opportunity to explain to the country why the war must go on.

One hundred and fifty years ago, a similar hustle was taking place inside the home of David Wills. Thirty-eight political noteworthies spent the night there on November 18th, 1863, including President Lincoln. It is where he finished writing his brief remarks.

"He felt like this was a religious moment; it was more like church than anything," Lawhon added.

Thousands are expected to arrive with a similar emotion. Prep work has taken years; the logistics, just as long.

Organizers say that satellite broadcasts of the ceremony will be held around town. One location will be inside of the Majestic Theater.

Many shuttles will be free, and public transportation encouraged.

All of this—to commemorate a short speech that Lincoln himself believed would be soon forgotten.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Seating is first come, first serve. Park staff encourages visitors to arrive early and dress warm. The park opens at 6 a.m.

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