After hearing many opinions regarding the question “are Dedication Day and Remembrance Day the same in Gettysburg”, I decided it was necessary to address the debate. I was amazed by the amount of incorrect information written on the subject. Dedication Day and Remembrance Day are not the same, but are interconnected.
President Harry S. Truman signed a Congressional Resolution praising Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and proclaiming Dedication Day in 1946.
“Whereas the Gettysburg Address of President Lincoln is the outstanding classic of the ages; and Whereas it will touch the hearts of men and inspire them with faith in our matchless democracy as long as time endures…Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That November 19, 1946, the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, be, and hereby is, designated in our calendar of special days as Dedication Day…”. Now, therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do proclaim November 19, 1946 the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, as Dedication Day, and I urge the people of the United States to observe that day by reading the address in public assemblages throughout the United States and its possessions, on our ships at sea, and wherever the American Flag flies.”
Originally coordinated by the Grand Army of the Republic, Remembrance Day is celebrated on the Saturday closest to Dedication Day on November 19th. Thousands of Living Historians from across the country proudly don the uniforms and civilian attire of 1863 to participate in a grand parade honoring the sacrifices of the soldiers and civilians at Gettysburg. Many of the units and organizations participate in wreath laying ceremonies and other forms of remembrance.
The day concludes with the moving Remembrance Day Illumination at the National Cemetery. A luminary candle is placed on the grave of each of the 3,512 Civil War soldiers graves and the names of each are read.
Blog by Christina Rowand