Cumberland Township in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Eternal Light Peace Memorial
"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.
1938 Memorial dedicated on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
1988 Memorial re-dedicated on the 125th anniversary.
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
Topics and series. This historical marker memorial is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #32 Franklin D. Roosevelt series list.
Location. 39° 50.894′ N, 77° 14.599′ W. Marker is in Cumberland Township, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on North Confederate Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Located on Oak Hill, near the Eternal Light Peace Memorial (Stop 2 of the driving tour) in Gettysburg National Military Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. General Rodes Attacks (here, next to this marker); The Orange Artillery (a few steps from this marker); Rodes's Division (a few steps from this marker); Eternal Peace Light (within shouting distance of this marker); Iverson's Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Carter's Battalion (within shouting distance of this marker); Daniel's BrigadeThe King William Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland Township.
More about this memorial. In the upper center is a photograph of the dedication captioned, Dedication of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial here on July 3, 1938. At President Roosevelt's signal, the flag shrouding the monument was lowered into the arms of a Union veteran and a Confederate veteran. It was the last great "hurrah" for the old soldiers.
Below it in the lower center is a photograph of President Roosevelt delivering the dedication. Here, on the eve of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recalled Abraham Lincoln's desire for a nation united "with malice toward none, with charity toward all."
On the right is a photo of veterans reunited on the battlefield. At the 1938 reunion, veterans of the Blue and Gray extended warm greetings across a once bloodstained wall on Cemetery Ridge. Said one Confederate veteran to his former enemy, "Sir, we couldn't hold anything against each other. Now we belong to the same fellowship."
Also see . . . Eternal Peace Light Memorial Dedication. Entry from Gettysburg Daily providing many bits of information about the memorial and the dedication ceremony. Includes a video clip of the reunion and dedication. (Submitted on January 19, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,456 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on January 19, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 21, 2016, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 7. submitted on January 19, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 8, 9. submitted on July 21, 2016, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 10. submitted on January 19, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.