Here the epic battle in the history of North America was fought. Here the fate of the fledgling American democratic experiment was tested and decided. And after the battle, Gettysburg was the site of extraordinary kindness, where local citizens cared for the wounded, with little regard to North or South, or to blue or gray uniforms.
Gettysburg is not simply a battlefield, nor a town, nor a single event in history. It symbolizes and embodies an idea: that each new generation of Americans must earn our cherished democracy.
No clearer expression of these principles is to be found than in President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the most famous speech by an American president. In a mere 272 words, Lincoln solemnly dedicated the Soldier’s National Cemetery at Gettysburg. But he did so much more than honor those who died. He respected the memory of the fallen in both armies, as Americans all. He reminded us that our nation was birthed in the stirring words of the Declaration of Independence. Looking ahead to a new era, he spoke elegantly of a “new birth of freedom” for those not yet free.
Your Support for Gettysburg. . .is a way to honor the past, but it is also a clear statement of faith in the future, that the great American experiment in democracy must be nurtured. . .and that it will endure.
The Gettysburg Foundation works in tandem with the National Park Service to support Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site. We acquire battlefield land and Civil War artifacts, educate schoolchildren and the visiting public about the relevance of Gettysburg in our time, and operate a world-class, LEED-Gold Certified Museum & Visitor Center.
Thanks to our supporters, the Gettysburg Foundation has provided more than $20 million in direct support of the National Park Service just since 2009.