Eternal Light Peace Memorial (Gettysburg)

Eternal Light Peace Memorial

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©Michael Kendra, April 2002.
:us34stars: :CSA1stNat:

MONUMENT PROFILE
  • Battlefield: Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
  • Location: North Confederate Ave, On Oak Hill
  • Map Coordinates: +39° 50' 54.60", -77° 14' 36.60"

MONUMENT DETAILS
  • Artists:
    • Architect: Paul Philippe Cret
    • Sculptor: Lee Oskar Lawrie
    • Contractor: George A. Fuller Company
  • Dedicated: July 3rd, 1938
    • Rededicated July 3rd, 1988
  • Dimensions: Overall: 40 x 42 x 85 ft.
    • Shaft: H. 40 ft.
    • Relief: H. 8 ft.
    • Platform: L. 85 ft. x W. 42 ft.
  • Cost: $60,000.00 (July 1938)
  • Description:
A tall square shaft rising from the center of a stone platform is topped by a bronze urn for an eternal flame. On the south face of the shaft is a relief symbolizing peace and good will as it now exists between the north and south of the nation. It features two embracing female figures holding a wreath while an eagle stands at their feet.​
  • Remarks:
The memorial was dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt on July 3rd, 1938, the 75th anniversary of the battle. One Union and one Confederate veteran unveiled the 47 1/2 foot tall shaft. Roosevelt compared the task of the men of the 1860's with the men of his day: "All of them we honor, not asking under which Flag they fought then - thankful that they stand together under one Flag now." In less than five years the sons and grandsons of these veterans would be standing together in unimaginably terrible battles against enemies around the world.​
Over 250,000 people attended the dedication, with an estimated 100,000 more unable to make it due to overcrowded highways. Over 1,800 Civil War veterans attended what was to be the last reunion, all of them at least in their nineties. They lived in a luxurious tent camp complete with electricity and boardwalks set up in the fields north of Gettysburg College, attended by a host of Boy Scouts.​
The memorial's $60,000 cost was provided by donations from states both north and south. The shaft is of a light colored Alabama limestone. The lower section was originally Alabama limestone that deteriorated and had to be replaced by grey Maine granite.​
During WWII the light was reduced to just a pilot light. There was a nuclear arms protest at the site in 1962. The monument was the inspiration for the eternal flame on President Kennedy's grave at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1974 the flame was extinguished by order of Congress, which prohibited open flames (during the energy crisis) except the Eternal Flame on the grave of JFK. The extinguished gas flame was replaced by an electric light in 1976. Finally the gas flame was reinstalled during the 50th anniversary ceremonies and rededicated July 3, 1988.​
MONUMENT TEXT
Dedication Marker
ETERNAL PEACE
LIGHT MEMORIAL

Dedicated by
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
during the observance of the
75th anniversary of the
Battle of Gettysburg,
July 3, 1938​
Monument Right
AN ENDURING LIGHT
TO GUIDE US
IN UNITY
AND FELLOWSHIP
Monument Left
WITH FIRMNESS
IN THE RIGHT
AS GOD GIVES US
TO SEE THE RIGHT

------------------------------ LINCOLN
Monument Front Base
ETERNAL IN A NATION UNITED


MONUMENT DEDICATION


ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


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Re-routing of North Confederate Avenue
and Construction of Memorial, 1937

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Work being done on the Eternal Light Peace Memorial, 1941.

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Aerial image of the
Peace Light dedication ceremonies on July 3, 1938.

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View of Dedication, July 3, 1938.

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Peace Light after conversion to Electric Lighting
Photo Gary Todd, taken on July 19, 1978

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Vandalism on the north and east sides of the
Eternal Light Peace Memorial, Thursday, January 8, 2009.
Photo
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GettysburgDaily, 2009.


RELATED LINKS
citation information The following information is provided for citations.
Article Title:
Eternal Light Peace Memorial
Article Subject:
Civil War Monuments, Structures, & Other Points of Interest
Author:
Mike Kendra, @CivilWarTalk
Website Name:
CivilWarTalk.com
URL:
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/eternal-light-peace-memorial-gettysburg.165463/
Publisher:
CivilWarTalk, LLC
Original Published Date:
December 3, 2019

links to state and national monuments, and nearby landmarks Located at Gettysburg National Military Park, in Adams County, Pennsylvania (rev.6/1/21)
National Monuments
Eternal Light Peace Memorial Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial High Water Mark
Lincoln Speech Memorial Soldiers' National Monument
U.S. State Monuments
DE IN MD NY NY Auxiliary PA VT U.S. Regulars
C.S. State Monuments
AL AR DE FL GA LA MD MS NC SC TN TX VA
Union Regimentals
CT DE IL IN ME MD MA MI MN
NH NJ NY OH PA RI VT WV WI U.S. Regulars
Individual &
Commemorative
Monuments
Equestrian Monuments: Hancock Howard Lee Longstreet Meade Reynolds Sedgwick Slocum
Standing Bronze Statues:
Barlow Buford Burns Father Corby Crawford Doubleday Geary Gibbon
Greene Hays Humphreys Robinson Wadsworth Warren Webb
Wells
Other Individual Monuments:
Armistead Chapman Collis Cushing Fuller Rev. Howell Humiston Merwin
Nicholson Sickles Taylor Vincent Ward Weed & Hazlett Willard Woolson Zook
Landmarks
Black Horse Tavern Cashtown Inn Dobbin House Evergreen Cemetery Jennie Wade House Lutheran Theological Seminary
McAllister's Mill Railroad Station Sachs Covered Bridge
Thompson House David Wills House
Farms: Codori Bliss Brian
Daniel Schaefer Hummelbaugh Klingle Lady Leister McLean McPherson
Rogers Rose Rummel Sherfy Slyder Snyder Taney Trostle George Weikert Wentz
Points of Interest
New Museum & Visitor Center Benner's Hill Cemetery Hill Copse of Trees Culp's Hill
Devil's Den Peach Orchard Little Round Top
Big Round Top Sachs Covered Bridge
Spangler's Spring East Cavalry Field Soldiers' National Cemetery National Cemetery Annex

Gone But Not Forgotten: Old Museum, Visitor Center, & Electric Map Old Cyclorama National Tower
 
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