Civil War 2: Gettysburg Remembrance Parade Faces ‘Credible and Violent’ Threat Saturday
A parade to commemorate the 154th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address consecrating the pivotal Civil War battlefield on November 19, 1863 will go forward Saturday under heavy police and FBI protection following a “credible and violent threat” to the parade being held in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania that was mailed to a local newspaper, The Gettysburg Times, on November 6. The text of the letter has not been released.
WHP-TV reported on the threat and the FBI’s response.
Gettysburg Police and federal authorities are investigating a threat to the Gettysburg Remembrance Parade.
Gettysburg Police Chief Joe Dougherty says the threat was stated in a letter to the Gettysburg Times newspaper. Newspaper staff reported the threat to police who deemed the threat “credible and violent.”
While police haven’t provided details about the nature of the threat, they are taking precautions for one of the most anticipated events in the town.
“I read it and it gives me concern,” says Dougherty. “With the way things are in the country today, we didn’t want to take a chance and not over prepare.”
…The FBI sent CBS 21 a statement saying:
The FBI is working closely with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners on security measures for Remembrance Day. For all involved, the safety of area residents and visitors is the top priority. As always, we’d urge the public to remain vigilant, and report any suspicious activity or individuals to law enforcement immediately.”
The threat comes as the Nation has been convulsed this year by a low-grade civil war on Civil War monuments and history by politicians and violent Leftists seeking to erase American history in a 1984 fashion.
A Civil War reenactment weekend in Manassas, Virginia was cancelled last August over fears of violence in the wake of the deadly attack on anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville the week before.
The annual Gettysburg Remembrance Day Parade will carry on with an adjusted route, traffic detours and requests for attendees to not bring backpacks, coolers, caps, powder, ammunition, explosive or incendiary devices.
The organizer of the parade, the Sons of Veterans Reserve, the Military Department of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, posted a statement to Facebook on Wednesday.
Dear Ladies and Gentleman,
I would like to take this time to thank you for all of the comments and words of support we have received, and as we get closer we ask for your cooperation and understanding. We have tried our best to make sure that you are up to date with information concerning the parade. This has been a tough week and I cannot begin to tell the amount loss sleep I’ve had since we first got word of this threat. I just want to go over a few things and I don’t mean to sound like a broken record.
Caps, powder, ammunition, explosive or incendiary devices shall not be carried by any of the participants in the Remembrance Day Parade. Let’s not do anything to get ourselves in trouble.
If and we say if any of the so called “anti-Confederate “groups are in the crowds PLEASE DO NOT ENGAGE THEM! I have had some encounters with them in the past and they will try to bait you. Don’t give them the time of day. They are not worth it.
If you see anything suspicious PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH IT. Call 911 or if you see a Police Officer let them know.
Together we will get through this. Thank you so much for your support of the Annual Remembrance Day Parade and we look forward to seeing you there!”
The organizer’s original announcement of the threat.
Dear Ladies and Gentleman,
On November 6, 2017 the Gettysburg Times received a letter from an unknown person/persons stating that he/she/they were going to do potential harm at this year’s Remembrance Day parade. The Gettysburg Times immediately turned the letter over to Gettysburg Police Department, who contacted both the FBI and ATF who are now investigating. As a result, to safeguard both the re-enactors and the general public the route of the parade has been changed.
The parade will form on Lefever Street between Baltimore Street and East Confederate Avenue, however we will have to form in reverse as the parade will start on Lefever street turn left onto Baltimore Street travel South on Baltimore Street and then turn right (west) on to Steinwehr Avenue, and then left (south) on Taneytown Road. The end point will be the Cemetery entrance on Taneytown Road. The parade participants and the horses and carriages may proceed through the Cemetery onto Baltimore Street and back to the Middle School on Lefever Street. While this shortens up the parade by several blocks we must look at the safety of everyone involved. The end route of the parade may change so please check this page for any updates.
Because of these changes we respectfully ask the following:
First and foremost if you see something say something. We don’t expect trouble but it is always better to be cautious. The Provosts for the parade will have yellow armbands on marked Provost and Deputy Provost.
Please keep the space between units tight. We usually say 20 feet between ranks, we are going move that to 10 feet between ranks.
This is probably the most important. If and we are saying if any of these anti- Confederate “groups” are in the crowd, DO NOT ENGAGE THEM! They will look for confrontation that they can film to make us look bad. If we see any of these people in the crowd we are going to make sure that we have a Provost by them so we can film them.
We realize that this is going to be a change for us and we are also disappointed that we must shorten the parade. We share your disgust that an individual/ individuals would try to disrupt the largest and oldest Civil War parade in the United States. Ladies and gentleman we cannot allow this threat to deter us from not participating in the parade. If we do, then they have won. Let us stand against people who wish to hijack our hobby and American history. Sadly in this post 9-11 world we do ask you that if you see or hear something suspicious please notify the Gettysburg Police immediately.
As information becomes available, we will update this page. We also invite you to join us at the Parade briefing slated for Saturday, November 18 at 9:30 AM at the Eisenhower Hotel and Conference Center, 2634 Emmitsburg Road. Let’s not allow this threat to stop us. Let us have a great parade and honor the men in the Blue and the Gray!”
British actor Charles Laughton gave a memorable recitation of the Gettysburg Address in the 1935 film, Ruggles of Red Gap.