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Thousands gather for 150th anniversary of Gettysburg Address - abc27 WHTM

Thousands gather for 150th anniversary of Gettysburg Address

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Thousands of people gathered this morning to mark the 150th anniversary of Present Abraham Lincoln's historic Gettysburg Address.

A crowd was already lined up when Gettysburg National Military Park opened at 6 a.m. for the re-enactments and ceremonies that began four hours later.

Lincoln came to Gettysburg to dedicate a national cemetery at the site of the pivotal 1863 Civil War battle and to give a few brief remarks on why the war must continue.

While he believed the world would "little note, nor long remember" his words, Lincoln's two-minute speech became a symbol of his presidency, a source of national identity, and is regarded as one of the finest speeches in history.

"He summed what was happening in our country and how we had to pull back together," said Laurie Rogers, a park visitor who traveled from California for the anniversary events. "Without that speech, we probably wouldn't be the country we are today."

A professional Lincoln presenter, Jim Getty, delivered the speech near the spot where Lincoln spoke.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and James McPherson, a leading Civil War scholar, were keynote speakers, and Governor Tom Corbett delivered a few remarks.

President Barack Obama was invited, but declined the offer.

 

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