The Eternal Light Peace Memorial, Gettysburg

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#34 of 128 in Things to do in Gettysburg
Monument · Hidden Gem · Landmark
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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." Our Gettysburg day trip planning site makes visiting The Eternal Light Peace Memorial and other Gettysburg attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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  • If you do nothing else at the battlefields you must see the peace flame. It is quite inspiring lots of signs to explain what everything is 
    If you do nothing else at the battlefields you must see the peace flame. It is quite inspiring lots of signs to explain what everything is  more »
  • We've been there several times in the past but on this trip we learned that the monument was the inspiration for the President Kennedy eternal flame. 
    We've been there several times in the past but on this trip we learned that the monument was the inspiration for the President Kennedy eternal flame.  more »

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