November holds a special place in our hearts at Gettysburg.
Famously, the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery took place here in November 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln delivered his iconic Gettysburg Address. His brief speech forever made our town synonymous with a “…government of the people, by the people, for the people…”
And after the Battle of Gettysburg just a few months prior, President Lincoln issued a proclamation in October 1863, making a National Day of Thanksgiving in November. We owe it, in some measure, to the relief and gratefulness and desire to “heal the wounds of the nation."
November also ushers in the holiday season. It is a time of reflection, to be mindful of our blessings, and to look toward assisting both people, as well as organizations we take pride in supporting.
This year, the Gettysburg Foundation is pleased to participate in the Adams County Community Foundation’s Giving Spree on Nov. 5. The Giving Spree provides an opportunity for the community to give back to the area’s nonprofit organizations and support various causes. The 2020 Giving Spree raised more than $2 million for important charitable needs in our county during a challenging time.
Visit ACCFGivingSpree.org to learn how you can donate. We hope that you might consider us, and other charitable causes you hold dear, in donating this year. Thank you to Adams County Community Foundation for organizing this day of community philanthropy.
In this spirit of giving, November also brings us Giving Tuesday. Observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday is a world-wide day of generosity. Our community and Friends of Gettysburg across the nation have continued to support the Gettysburg Foundation’s mission.
Past Giving Tuesday projects have included conservation of the Lincoln sculpture in front of the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, as well as renovation of the Rupp House to what is now Children of Gettysburg 1863, the new interactive adventure for young historians. We are thankful to those who support preservation of our history.
On Nov. 30, we will observe Giving Tuesday with our campaign to raise funds to keep the Eternal Light Peace Memorial burning for the next five years. The towering monument on Oak Ridge is a highlight of any Gettysburg visit. Dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the 75th anniversary of the battle on July 3, 1938, the memorial is symbolic of “peace eternal in a nation reunited.” We hope you join our efforts to keep the flame glowing ‘eternally.’ While this symbolic light is enduring, so is the responsibility of keeping the flame bright.
November truly is a time of thanksgiving.
At the Gettysburg Foundation, we’re thankful to be part of this supportive community. We’re thankful for the opportunity to share the significance of what happened here and how it remains relevant today. We’re thankful for your support in helping us preserve our nation’s history.
These are things we’re thankful for every day. Here in Gettysburg, November is a heightened time for thanks and giving.
Wayne E. Motts
President and CEO, Gettysburg Foundation
First appeared in the Gettysburg Foundation's column in the Oct. 26, 2021, edition of the Gettysburg Times.