(Gettysburg) -- A number of dignitaries are among the tens of thousands of people visiting Gettysburg this week.
Many are reflecting on what the famed Civil War battle means to them.
Pulitzer-prize winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has been to Gettysburg many times. But, she still finds herself in awe when standing in the Gettysburg Naitonal Cemetery, where 3,500 Union soldiers are buried.
"Looking at those gaves, when you see them all...when you go over the hill and see them all, I think that's the same thing," she says. "It's like Normandy. That somehow the enormity of these sacrifices, when you see the graves lined up, gets you."
Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican, says it's impossible to overstate the significance to American history of the Civil War and Gettysburg's role in it.
"The decisions that were made on Seminary Ridge...the decisions that are memorialized and taught (at Gettysburg) had a huge role in the outcome of the pivotal battle in the defining event of our history," he says.
Later today, a large crowd is expected for the commerative walk across the fields where Pickett's charge took place, an assault by Confederate forces that was repelled by Union forces on July third, 1863.
It's become known as the High Water Mark of the Confederacy.
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