Radio program host Garrison Keillor, known for his folksy descriptions of everyday Americans, will talk about the heroes who gave their lives during the Civil War and the president who spoke eloquently about their sacrifice.
Gettysburg National Military Park and the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania announced Wednesday that the producer of American Public Media’s “A Prairie Home Companion” heard on NPR will present the Dedication Day address on Nov. 19 at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at the park.
“It is something of a miracle that the prosperous Illinois railroad lawyer who won the 1860 election turned out to be Abraham Lincoln,” Keillor said in a statement. “He was a better man than anyone knew and a masterful writer, who gave us the Second Inaugural (“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right”), and the classic of Gettysburg, on 11/19/63.”
Since 1938, the fellowship on Nov. 19 has commemorated Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and rededicated the cemetery where he spoke on that day in 1863. Others now help sponsor the event, centered around the cemetery rostrum.
The day’s events begin at 10 a.m. and are open to the public. A naturalization ceremony is planned and there will be a wreath-laying. Details can be found here.
Keillor, in his “The Writer’s Almanac," often has mentioned Lincoln and his legacy.
“Poor Edward Everett stood up and orated for two hours that day and went down in history as a pretentious gasbag and Lincoln gave his address that thousands and thousands of schoolchildren have memorized and learned what greatness sounds like,” Keillor said in Wednesday’s statement. “But it is his plain humanity that so impresses us today. He feels like a contemporary.”