Remembrance Day in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is always a grand event every November. This year was no exception. On November 17th several thousand spectators and parade participants were delighted to see a bright sunny sky; many remembering that it rained all day last year. However, the temperature this year was in the 40’s and a lot of snow was still on the ground from a snow storm that occurred on Thursday before the Saturday parade. Fortunately, the snow had been removed from the streets.
The Civil War Military Parade through Gettysburg is the highlight of several events in Gettysburg commemorating the speech given by President Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863 during the dedication of the Gettysburg National Military Cemetery. The brief remarks he gave during the dedication are now known as the Gettysburg Address.
The Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR) which is the Military Department of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War sponsors the Remembrance Day Military Parade. The SVR also conducts an annual ceremony at the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Memorial located in Ziegler’s Grove at the Gettysburg National Military Park. The GAR Memorial is a statue of Albert Woolson; the last surviving Union Civil War Veteran. He died in 1956 at the age of 106.
The SVR also held its annual Civil War Military Ball on Saturday evening providing Remembrance Day participants an opportunity to close out the day with Civil War era dancing. Several hundred dancers attended the Ball. The SVR donates all the proceeds from the Ball to the Gettysburg National Military Park for preservation of the Civil War memorials on the battlefield; both Union and Confederate Memorials benefits from the donation. The SVR donations now exceed $85,000.
By Robert Grimm