Posted on: November 19 2012

Don’t Just See the Movie! Honor Lincoln’s Memory by Helping to Preserve More of Gettysburg

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Today is the 149th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. President Abraham Lincoln’s short but masterful affirmation of freedom and human equality still endures as one of the most famous and moving speeches in all of American history.

It’s no wonder our 16th president continues to capture our imagination. Like millions of people around the country, I saw the new Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln last week and loved the insightful portrayal Daniel Day-Lewis brought to the role. Day-Lewis humanized the president, taking him from the icon we see on currency and in monuments and reminding us that he was a real human being. I came away from the film with renewed dedication to the importance of protecting the remaining physical links to this great man. The connection one feels while standing on a battlefield or in a historic home cannot be replicated, and is gone forever with the loss of the land. These places—if properly protected—can remain as tangible links to America’s history for generations to come.

The author with Ulysses S. Grant--or a remarkable likenessOne such landmark that Congress could easily save is the famous train station in downtown Gettysburg where Lincoln arrived before giving his storied address 149 years ago. This beautifully restored building also served as a field hospital during the battle itself. If protected, visitors will be able to follow the physical trail of the president as he prepared to give the most famous speech in American history. The Pennsylvania congressional delegation is working to include this building—as well as 45 acres of a historic battle site, Big Round Top—in the formal boundaries of the national military park.

So don’t just watch it on the big screen. Take action to preserve these sites on the ground! It just takes a minute on our website.

-Nick Lund, Civil War Associate

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