"Lincoln was Commander-in-Chief in this old battle; he wanted above all things to be Commander-in-Cheif of the new peace."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Memorial Dedication, July 3, 1938
Veterans of the Union and Confederate armies from across the nation converged on Gettysburg in 1938 - 75 years after the battle - for their last great reunion. All Civil War veterans were invited with expenses paid, and nearly 2,000 attended. The majority were in their 90s, and many were over 100.
On the warm evening of Sunday, July 3, they gathered here with others to dedicate a monument to peace and national unity. President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the dedication speech to a crowd estimated at 200,000.
The monument, designed by Paul Philipe Cret, is built of Alabama limestone and Maine granite, topped by a natural gas torch to be lit eternally to symbolize the unity of the United States.
1909 Peace memorial first proposed by Pennsylvania commission planning Gettysburg 50th anniversary.
1935 New commission preparing for the 75th anniversary begins planning a peace memorial.
1936 Virginia becomes the first state to appropriate funds for the memorial.
1938 Memorial dedicated on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
1988 Memorial re-dedicated on the 125th anniversary.