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Posted on Oct 5, 2010 in War College

Veterans Unite to Prevent a Casino at Gettysburg

By Public Service Announcement

Veterans are again riding to the sound of the guns—to prevent the sound of slot machines echoing across the battlefield at Gettysburg.

For months, historians, preservationists and others have been fighting the proposed construction of a gambling casino near the  hallowed ground where the largest battle of the Civil War was fought and President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most memorable speeches in America’s history. Author and journalist John A. Farrell added his voice in a U.S. News & World Reports opinion piece.

Now a group of American veterans has formed to join the fight against the Gettysburg casino. See the media release below from the Civil War Preservation Trust. The president of the CWPT, James Lighthizer, is a member of Armchair General‘s advisory board.


A similar attempt to build a casino at Gettysburg was defeated in 2005.

Click here to watch a video in which Ken Burns, David McCullough, Sam Watterson, Matthew Broderick, Medal of Honor recipient Paul W. Bucha and others make appeals to prevent the casino from being built at Gettysburg.

To view a map showing the proposed location of the Gettysburg casino, click here. 

(Harrisburg, Pa.) – At a press conference September 21st in the rotunda of the Pennsylvania capital, leading American veterans opposed to a proposal to build a casino near some of America’s most hallowed ground announced the formation of Veterans for Gettysburg.  James Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), issued the following statement in support of the new effort:

“Gettysburg holds a special place in the hearts of all Americans, but it is particularly dear to those who have felt the heat of battle.  The call to military service is a tie that stretches across the generations and makes all of our nation’s veterans truly one ‘band of brothers.’

“The soldiers who fought our Civil War — the veterans who helped establish the Gettysburg Battlefield as we know it today, erecting profound monuments to their fallen comrades and returning time and again to reflect on the meaning of that hallowed ground — are no longer with us, leaving it to our generation to remember their sacrifices and, when necessary, speak on their behalf.  And who better to take up the standard of respect and decency in their name but those who also know what it means to serve their country in uniform.

“Today in Harrisburg, some of our country’s leading former servicemen joined together under the banner of Veterans for Gettysburg and announced an open letter from America’s veterans to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.  In asking that this inappropriate proposal be rejected, they write: ‘As you would honor our service, we ask that you remember theirs.’

“I commend these brave men and women for answering the call to defend Gettysburg, just as they answered the call to protect their nation.  Further, I encourage all members of the Civil War Preservation Trust and all those who respect America’s past who served in the armed services to join the effort.  Military veterans — regardless of era or branch of service — are invited to sign the open letter by visiting"

With 55,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its mission is to preserve our nation’s remaining Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism.  Since 1987, the organization has helped save more than 29,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, including 700 at Gettysburg.  The CWPT website is located at