Dedication Day Events

2020 Schedule: November 18, 19, and 21


November 19 marks the anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg. The Soldiers' National Cemetery is famous throughout the world today as the site of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, delivered at the cemetery's dedication ceremonies four and a half months after the battle. Numerous events take place each year to commemorate this monumental anniversary.
 
The sign at the front door of the David Wills house described how Abraham Lincoln stayed there on November 18, 1863.
The sign at the front door of the David Wills house.

NPS Photo

CANCELLED - David Wills House And Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station Open House: November 18

Evening Open House at the David Wills House and Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station. Special interpretive programs will coincide with the period President Lincoln occupied the two structures during his visit to Gettysburg to dedicate the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

These events are cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.

 
The only know picture of Abraham Lincoln from the November 19, 1863 ceremony shows Lincoln from a distance with his hat removed and his head bowed. He is surrounded by dignitaries and the large crowd.
The only known picture of Abraham Lincoln from the November 19, 1863 ceremony shows Lincoln from a distance with his hat removed and his head bowed. He is surrounded by dignitaries and the large crowd.

VIRTUAL - Dedication Day Ceremony: November 19

Dedication Day 2020 will commemorate the 157th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

This event is sponsored by Gettysburg National Military Park, the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, the Gettysburg Foundation, and Gettysburg College.

This event will be virtual due to the ongoing pandemic.

Watch the virtual Dedication Day program on the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania YouTube channel.

 
A Union living history band marches in the Dedication Day parade.
A Union living history band marches in the Dedication Day parade.

Gettysburg Foundation

CANCELLED - Parade: November 21

An annual parade of Civil War living history groups is held in conjunction with the Gettysburg Address anniversary.

This event is sponsored by the Sons of Veterans Reserve, the Military Department of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War.

This event is cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.
 
Luminaries and flags adorn the Civil War graves in the Soldiers' National Cemetery.
Luminaries and flags adorn the Civil War graves in the Soldiers' National Cemetery.

NPS Photo

CANCELLED - Remembrance Day Illumination: November 21


This solemn commemoration features a luminary candle on each of the 3,512 Civil War soldier’s graves. Names of the fallen soldiers will be read throughout the evening.

This event is cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.

This event is sponsored by the Gettysburg Foundation.

Following the Pennsylvania Health Secretary’s announcement that all visitors to Pennsylvania must have a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 14 days prior, the 2020 Remembrance Day Illumination is cancelled.

The Remembrance Day Illumination, a commemoration of the Gettysburg National Cemetery dedication in Nov. 1863, was scheduled for Nov. 21. The event relies on more than 150 volunteers – with a majority coming from out of state – to place luminary candles on the 3,512 Civil War soldiers’ graves. The event will not be rescheduled.

 

National Cemetery Virtual Tour

Enhance your visit to the Soldiers' National Cemetery, in-person or virtually, by visiting our web page complete with a photo gallery of the Soldiers' National Monument, a video of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and lots more.
 
 


Visit the David Wills House

Visit 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 speech that transformed Gettysburg from a place of death and devastation to the symbol of our nation's "new birth of freedom."
 

Last updated: November 19, 2020

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