The Eternal Light Peace Memorial, Gettysburg

4.7
#34 of 145 in Nature in Pennsylvania
National Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Eternal Light Peace Memorial is a 1938 Gettysburg Battlefield monument dedicated on July 3, 1938, commemorating the 1913 Gettysburg reunion for the 50th anniversary of the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1913. The natural gas flame in a one-ton bronze urn is atop a tower on a stone pedestrian terrace with views from the terraced hill summit over about 400sqmi, and the flame is visible from 20mi away.
In 1887, "the Philadelphia Brigade, Col. Cowan and others" advocated a "grand monument to American Heroism on this battlefield", and President William McKinley spoke to Cowan about North/South peace in 1900. The "first tentative program" of October 1910 for the 1913 Gettysburg reunion planned a "Peace Jubilee" to be held on "National Day" with an oration by President Woodrow Wilson and the cornerstone placement for the "Great Peace Memorial" at noon. However, after being "presented, January 11th, 1912, to the Joint Committee of the Congress the Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg", funding was "found, in March 1912, impossible of accomplishment in the 62nd Congress". Instead of the laying of a cornerstone, on July 3 during the New York Veterans' Celebration in the 1913 Great Tent, Colonel Andrew Cowan gave a speech advocating the memorial, and "steps to accomplish such purpose were immediately taken … which resulted in the Gettysburg Peace Memorial Association being formed. … That Association's Bill was, on December 20th, 1913, presented to Congress…creating the Gettysburg Memorial Commission."
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  • Truly a monument that our nation should be reflecting on these days. Our entire experience visiting Gettysburg was wonderful and truly overwhelming. So rich in history and many feels on the hallowed.....  more »
  • This was a stop on our bus tour. It was very powerful. Our guide explained the significant and how and why the monument was erected.  more »

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