*Dedication Day 2020 will commemorate the 157th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. This event will be virtual due to the ongoing pandemic.
November 19, the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and the Dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, was formally designated as Dedication Day, by a joint resolution of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, on November 19, 1946. Each year since 1938, the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania has commemorated Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and rededicated Gettysburg National Cemetery where Lincoln spoke on this date.
Over the years, this annual event has grown and is now co-sponsored by Gettysburg National Military Park, the Gettysburg Foundation, and Gettysburg College. It is presented outdoors on the historic rostrum located in the cemetery. Many influential and noteworthy national figures including: Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Tom Ridge, John Hope Franklin, Shelby Foote, Carl Sandburg, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephan Lang, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ken Burns, Stephen Spielberg and others have spoken at the ceremony to help all of us remember Lincoln’s words and to rededicate ourselves to the ideals Lincoln conveyed there in 1863.
The day’s events typically begin at 10:15am with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Soldiers’ National Monument, followed by the Dedication Day Program at the rostrum in the Gettysburg National Cemetery at 10:30am. The Gettysburg Address is recited and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service holds a naturalization ceremony for citizen candidates.