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Blog: Reimagining Gettysburg

Bloodshed at Gettysburg: Why Does Civility Matter, Anyway? (Invited Blog Post)

May 20, 2019

Matthew C. Moen, Ph.D., Gettysburg Foundation president (March 2017-July 2020), participated in the Big History Project (co-founded by Bill Gates and Dr. David Christian) in July 2018. Big History brings powerful historical lessons, from the beginning of time to the present, to thousands of middle-school and high-school teachers and their students around the world.

Dr. Moen was invited to author a blog post for Big History: "Bloodshed at Gettysburg: Why Does Civility Matter, Anyway?"

Our July 20, 2018 blog post focused on the healing that occurred immediately after the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, as local citizens began to care for the wounded. We outlined a broad pattern of healing that occurred over the next 155 years at Gettysburg:

  • Creating the Camp Letterman hospital
  • Quaker nurses streaming into town to tend to the injured
  • President Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address in Nov. 1863
  • Thirteen other presidents of the United States visiting Gettysburg to speak of remembrance and healing
  • Reunions of Civil War veterans extending hands to their former enemies over fences where they once fired
  • President Franklin Roosevelt dedicating in 1938 the Eternal Light Peace Memorial that continues to burn brightly on the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg National Military Park 

Continue following the Gettysburg Foundation's blog, "Reimagining Gettysburg" for insightful and inspiring posts on topics related to the lessons of Gettysburg—reconciliation and remembrance; healing and kindness; humility, civility, inclusivity and our democracy—relevant today and for our future generations.