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Humility

Men who wore the Blue and men who wore the Gray are here together, a fragment spared by time. They are brought here by the memories of old divided loyalties, but they meet here in united loyalty to a united cause which the unfolding years have made it easier to see.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt 
75th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg
July 3, 1938

It is often difficult to see beyond old loyalties; to look outside our own beliefs and seek to understand another point of view.  

To do so requires selflessness. Empathy. Humility.

Speaking at the dedication of Gettysburg’s Eternal Light Peace Memorial on the 75th anniversary of the battle, President Roosevelt recognized the humility of the Civil War veterans in attendance. Once divided in their devotions, they now stood together for the cause of “Peace Eternal in a Nation United.”  

The lessons of Gettysburg remind us of the virtue of humility–to serve for the greater good and contribute to a united cause: 

  • Unable to “stand the sight of blood,” Gettysburg citizen Salome “Sallie” Myers nonetheless humbly and bravely volunteered as a hospital nurse during the battle. 
  • Among those selflessly leaving behind safe, comfortable careers to volunteer for battle, Michigan lawyer-turned-colonel Harrison H. Jeffords enlisted in the 4th Michigan Volunteer Infantry at the outset of the war.  At Gettysburg, Jeffords would die of a bayonet wound while trying to recover the 4th Infantry’s colors. 
  • In his enduring Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln does not boast of a Union victory or malign the Confederacy. Rather, he offers hope for a “new birth of freedom.” 

Gettysburg humbles us. It reminds us of the sacrifice of thousands of lives for a cause greater than themselves. It reminds us of selfless acts. It strengthens our willingness to set aside differences. It teaches us humility. 

It brings us together. 

This is Gettysburg Revisited. 

Revisit Gettysburg

A massive battle. A symbol of healing. An emblem of democracy. 

Learn more about reimagining Gettysburg and its inspirational messages of humility.
 

Request a Gettysburg Revisited presentation for your civic, corporate or school group.

Revisit & Reimagine Gettysburg

Revisit Gettysburg and take another look at the sites and messages of humility you may have missed the first time:

Eternal Peace Light

In a symbolic and humble moment of "united loyalty," two 91-year old Union and Confederate veterans unveiled the Eternal Peace Light Memorial at the 75th anniversary of the battle in 1938.

 

4th Michigan Infantry

One of the many tributes to volunteers and their selflessness and sacrifice.

The monument marks the spot where Colonel Harrison H. Jeffords fell while attempting to recover the 4th Michigan’s colors.

Fittingly, the monument features a colors bearer. 

Soldiers' National Cemetery

The Gettysburg Address Memorial: Dedicated to the speech rather than the eloquent speaker, the memorial recognizes Lincoln’s immortal address and its message of civil discourse, huumility and healing.

 

Veterans from both sides of the battle returned to Gettysburg in 1913 to honor the fallen, reminisce with their friends and extend their hands to their former enemies over fences where they once fired.