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Steven Spielberg delivers keynote address at commemoration of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 19 2012 09:44:32 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 20 2012 10:42:48 AM CST

Spielberg in Gettysburg to honor Gettysburg address

GETTYSBURG, Pa. -

In the 1860s, the battlefields of Gettysburg set the stage for heartbreak and heroism. More than a century later, it's the scene for Hollywood royalty.

Film director Steven Spielberg was the keynote speaker for the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address."

"I see him on the screen, making movies, now get to see in person," said visitor David Lentzner.

From men in Civil War regalia to women in period wear, many in attendance looked straight out of a Spielberg film.

"A very important part of our history that made this country, like the second revolution," said Pete Peters, of Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co.

Spielberg, however, stole the show. After laying a memorial wreath, he saluted the soldiers.

Organizers asked Spielberg to come because of his just-released film, "Lincoln," which Spielberg said he spent seven years making.

"I admit one reason I wanted to make this film is I wanted to bring Lincoln back from the sleep of one and half centuries, even if only for two-and-a-half hours and only in a cinematic dream," Spielberg said.

An estimated 4,000 people packed into the Soldier's National Cemetery, double the size of the usual crowd, organizers said.

Spielberg said he's humbled and awestruck by the history and impact of Gettysburg.

"The name of this place still resonates in the hearts of the American people," he told the crowd.