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October 2009
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President's MessageSteve Wiley and Angela Sontheimer

Fall has arrived in Gettysburg, bringing with it the beautiful colors of the season.These crisp cool days are a wonderful time to walk the battlefields and contemplate the leadership lessons that abound here in Gettysburg. 

A quote from October 3, 1889 by Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain comes to mind: “In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by who great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream; and lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls.”

His profound words are that much more impressive when you consider that more than a century later, Budget Travel magazine has listed Gettysburg one of “8 Places Every American Should See.” Look for more information on that honor below.

In fact, we are excited to show off our fair town this month to representatives from Intervet / Schering-Plough’s animal health division, and a large group of Superintendents from our amazing national parks across the country. Their leadership teams will be joining us for our Transformational Journey from Gettysburg program.

And that’s not all that’s happening in Gettysburg.

  • Read on to learn more about the Pennsylvania Civil War (PACW 150), the Commonwealth’s official planning committee for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War over the next five years. The organization has a fantastic website that is packed with information, including interesting details about the lesser-known leaders of that conflict: http://pacivilwar150.com.
  • Additionally, below is information about The Wall That Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which Gettysburg College hosted this month. I was especially struck by the fact that we talk about how in the three days of fighting here in Gettysburg there were 51,000 casualties and the wall holds the names of a similar number — 58,000 killed or missing from a much more recent conflict. 

These are both wonderful illustrations of how our nation’s history influences us today and can be a useful tool in identifying and refining our own leadership practices.

With my managing director Angela Sontheimer, I wish you a wonderful month filled with strong leadership and courage. We’ll look forward to talking to you again in November.

Steven B. Wiley

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150 Civil War

Everyone at the Lincoln Leadership Institute is excited to introduce our readers to a new website and program that celebrates the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War called the Pennsylvania Civil War 150.

Filled with buckets of information — ranging from the timelines and discussions about the consequences of the war to the women’s role — the initiative began several years ago when the Pennsylvania Heritage Society received a $500,000 grant on behalf of PHMC from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to conduct statewide planning for the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015).

The Civil War Pennsylvania 150 Planning Committee has been meeting monthly since October 2007 with other historical and cultural institutions from Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Gettysburg, and Philadelphia. Under the auspices of the Heritage Society, the committee developed a Pennsylvania programmatic agenda for the Sesquicentennial, and identified statewide projects such as major traveling exhibitions, a collections digitization project, new media, a web portal, and K-12 educational curricular materials and teacher professional development, as well as many regionally and locally coordinated programs and substantive commemorations grounded in the humanities.

One of those initiatives is the Pennsylvania Civil War Road Show, a multi-dimensional experience that travels throughout the state in a 53-foot tractor-trailer during the four-year anniversary period. The Road Show will engage local communities in all 67 counties across Pennsylvania, and connect those communities with the history of their Civil War experience. For more information visit www.PACivilWar150.com.

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The Wall That Heals

A half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display at Gettysburg College from October 8-11. Known as The Wall That Heals, the 250-ft. aluminum structure is made up of 24 individual panels that are inscribed with the 58,249 names of those killed or missing in action. The exhibition also features an information center and traveling museum displaying memorabilia left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Since it was unveiled on Veterans Day 1996, The Wall has visited more than 300 cities and towns throughout the nation. The exhibition made its first-ever international journey in 1999 to the Four Provinces of Ireland to honor the Irish-born casualties of the Vietnam War and Irish-Americans who served. It has also traveled to Canada.

After leaving Gettysburg it is traveling to Medford, Wisconsin for an exhibit at the local middle school on Nov. 11-15.

Officials of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund explain that, “bringing the wall to communities throughout our country allows the souls enshrined on the Memorial to exist, once more, among family and friends in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings.”

For more information or to learn how to bring The Wall That Heals to your community, please contact the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund at (202) 393-0090 or via email at vvmf@vvmf.org.


Budget Travel magazine

We are thrilled to report that the September 2009 issue of Budget Travel magazine featured historic Gettysburg as one of the “8 Places Every American Should See.”

“This is a great honor, especially considering the American icons on the list,” said Norris Flowers, president of the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Gettysburg is not just a great Civil War battlefield, it’s a place that resonates for all Americans.”

Steve Wiley, president of the Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg, couldn’t agree more.

“Budget Travel magazine rightly refers to Gettysburg as the site of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle and of one of Abraham Lincoln’s most famous speeches,” Wiley says. “But what I especially appreciate about this incredible distinction is that the editors point out that despite temptation to grow and develop our precious town, Gettysburg has been successful in its efforts to fend off encroaching development to preserve the sanctity of our land. That is exactly right, and I for one am proud of that accomplishment.”

In January 2008, the Budget Travel magazine listed Gettysburg as one of the “15 Places Every Kid Should Visit.” Other spots to make this year’s “8 Places” list include Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), Yellowstone National Park, New York Harbor, Monticello, Graceland, Pearl Harbor and the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Copyright 2009, The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg

Newsletter by Inkandescent Public Relations
Writing by Hope Katz Gibbs, president & founder; Copyediting by Kristin Nauth
Design by Jessica Dean, publisher/designer of Celebrate Gettysburg magazine