United States Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. Guide Things To Do Essentials Restaurants Nightlife Where to Stay Neighborhoods Events Getaways All Washington, D.C. Gettysburg Remembrance Day Parade and Illumination 2020 By Rachel Cooper Rachel Cooper Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Rachel Cooper is a travel writer who has lived in the Washington, D.C., area for more than 25 years. She is also the author of several books covering the capital and mid-Atlantic regions. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 11/25/19 Share Pin Email Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau Gettysburg, a historic town in the state of Pennsylvania, is well-known for the Gettysburg National Battlefield. History lovers travel from near and far to see the famous site. Each November on Remembrance Day, Gettysburg commemorates the establishment of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery—which dedicated 17 acres to bury more than 3,500 fallen Union soldiers. Historical Background Around 85,000 Union Army soldiers and about 75,000 Confederate Army soldiers fought in the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863. A total of 51,000 soldiers became casualties in what remains the largest battle of the American Civil War and the biggest battle ever fought in North America: Approximately 569 tons of ammunition were fired during the three days of fighting. On November 18, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg by train to attend the dedication ceremony for the cemetery the next day. He delivered the Gettysburg Address, which eloquently honored those who fought and died at Gettysburg; it continues to be one of the most revered speeches in American history. Location You'll find the Gettysburg National Battlefield, part of Gettysburg National Military Park, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) north of Washington, D.C. Dedication Day and Remembrance Day events Various events—free and open to the public—allow Gettysburg residents and visitors to commemorate the sacrifices made during and after the battle. Dedication Day: On Nov. 19, 2020, the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address will be commemorated and the Dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery will take place. The ceremonies begin at the cemetery with a wreath-laying; the annual event typically features a keynote speaker. The date was formally designated as Dedication Day by a joint resolution of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in 1946. This event is sponsored by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg College, and the Gettysburg Foundation. Remembrance Day Parade: This parade in Lincoln Square, downtown Gettysburg, on Nov. 21, 2020, features Civil War living history groups. The annual Remembrance Day Parade—sponsored by the Sons of Veterans Reserve, the Military Department of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War—starts on Middle Street, heads over to Baltimore Street, and then goes onto Steinwehr Avenue. The best place to watch is at the corner of Baltimore and Steinwehr Avenue. Annual Remembrance Day Illumination: On Nov. 21, 2020, the Annual Remembrance Day Illumination will take place at the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg. The ceremony features the lighting of a luminary candle on each of the 3,512 Civil War soldier's graves. Throughout the evening, the names of the fallen soldiers will be read in this event sponsored by the Gettysburg Foundation. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit The Best Monuments and Memorials in Washington, D.C. 8 National Park Sites With Ties to LGBTQ+ History Visit Gettysburg: A Great Day Trip or Weekend Getaway Honor American Heroes on Veterans Day in Washington, D.C. What to Do in November in Washington, D.C. The Top 15 Things to Do in Pennsylvania Celebrate Christmas in Gettysburg This Year 8 War Memorials in the United States Worth Visiting Festa della Liberazione, or Liberation Day, is April 25 in Italy Arlington National Cemetery: What to See and Do Great Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day in Nashville 8 Best Events in the Washington D.C. Area in February Top National Parks for Memorial Day Celebrate Asian American History By Visiting These National Parks 6 Civil War Battlefields Near Washington, D.C. September 11 Memorial Events in Washington, D.C.