Gettysburg Address 150th anniversary marked by historians, nation

Sun rises on the Gettysburg battlefield on the morning of the 150th anniversary. Photo: Horace Holmes

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - On the Civil War battlefield where President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech that symbolized his presidency and the sacrifices made by Union and Confederate forces, historians and everyday Americans gathered to ponder what the Gettysburg Address means to the nation.

150 years later, President of the Lincoln Group of D.C., Karen Needles, was one of the thousands who came to the site where Lincoln spoke.

“It is immensely important that the Gettysburg Address not only fit the 19th century, but that it applies to today," she said.

The Lincoln Group of D.C. is an organization dedicated to keeping alive the memory, work, and ideas of Lincoln – and a busload of its members traveled to Gettysburg Tuesday morning.

They are excited about touring the battlegrounds of the war’s bloodiest and most significant battle.

"I really am surprised and regret so few young people get a chance to study Lincoln," said Richard Margolies.

The thousands in Gettysburg on Tuesday were also joined by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who used the occasion to administer the oath of citizenship to 16 new Americans.

“May America give you all that you expect from it, and may you give it all that it expects of you," he said.

The others gathered here today to honor Lincoln and the spirit of his speech again dedicated themselves to making sure his words are never forgotten.