Spielberg's Dedication Day address gains media attention

Steven Spielberg spoke at the annual Dedication Day ceremony on November 19. The event is part of Gettysburg College’s American Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration, and was covered by several news outlets.

From Yahoo! News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Washington Post:

Two-time Academy Award winning director Steven Spielberg expressed a sense of humility Monday as he delivered the keynote address during ceremonies to mark the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address."

"I've never stood anyplace on earth where it's easier to be humbled than here," said Spielberg, whose biopic about the 16th president is currently in theaters.

His remarks were made at the annual event at the Soldier's National Cemetery in Gettysburg, near the site where Lincoln gave the famous oration amid the American Civil War in 1863, four months after the battle in which the Union turned back an invasion of the North by Confederate troops under Gen. Robert E. Lee.


From the Harrisburg Patriot-News:

For Peter D’Arpa, a Gettysburg College junior and history major, seeing Spielberg speak at Dedication Day only increased his appreciation of the film.

“His remarks, they show sincerity in his earnest desire to present Lincoln as the man he was, not as this hero,” D’Arpa said.

Ian Isherwood, an assistant director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, commended Spielberg for focusing on the cemetery itself in addition to the man whose speech made the place famous.

“Spielberg did an excellent job of reminding us of just how important the place was and what that means in terms of our national memory,” he said.

“Dedication Day has always brought in excellent speakers, but I think Spielberg’s speech is going to go down as one of the most memorable.”


From Broadway World: 

Deadline reports that Steven Spielberg has been selected to give the keynote speech at a commemoration marking the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysbergy Address today. The award-winning director helmed the biopic LINCOLN, released in theaters last week.

The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg College and the Gettysburg Foundation will host the event taking place this morning at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pa. Also at the ceremony, James Getty will recite the Gettysburg Address. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will hold a naturalization ceremony for sixteen "citizenship candidates."

Commented Spielberg, “It is an honor to be asked to speak at such a hallowed place on the anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. I look forward to visiting Pennsylvania and commemorating this important moment in our nation’s history."

Past speakers at the event include presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Dreyfuss, om Ridge, Shelby Foote, Adlai Stevenson, Carl Sandburg, Colin Powell, Sam Donaldson, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ken Burns and Tom Brokaw.


From Deadline:

Steven Spielberg, the filmmaker of Lincoln, today will be the keynote speaker at a ceremony commemorating the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. In doing so, he joins a list of past speakers that includes presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg College and the Gettysburg Foundation will host the Dedication Day events today starting at 9:30 AM.

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