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Scalia remembered for Gettysburg visit

Written by Nicole Chynoweth, The Evening Sun | Feb 16, 2016 3:30 PM
scalia gettysburg park.jpg

Photo via Gettysburg National Military Park to Lebanon Daily News

(Undated) -- After leading a naturalization ceremony for 16 new U.S. citizens at Gettysburg's Dedication Day in 2013, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia went out of his way to personally congratulate each person, said Katie Lawhon, a spokeswoman for Gettysburg National Military Park.

"It was just really nice, and it was memorable because I hadn't seen that happen before," she said.

Scalia, who served as a guest speaker at the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, died on Saturday. He was 79.

The board of the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, which sponsored the event, was delighted at the time to receive word that Scalia desired to attend the 150th anniversary, board member Chuck Teague said in a Facebook post Monday.

"Rather than the pro forma words I expected, he spoke with earnestness and passion," Teague said of Scalia's address. "It was a truly inspiring moment."

Eric Lindblade also recalled Scalia's Gettysburg speech in a Facebook post Monday.

"While my thinking and his on most issues were likely opposed, I found his speech and the message it contained captivating," Lindblade said. "I remember he joked that his mother wanted him to be president, but she had to settle for him being on the Supreme Court."

U.S. Supreme Court justices Sandra Day O'Connor and William Rehnquist also spoke at previous Dedication Day ceremonies, Lawhon said.

Gettysburg National Military Park posted Scalia's speech from the ceremony on Facebook. His remarks focused on freedom and opportunity that can be found in the United States.

"We are, as you heard from the director, a nation of immigrants, who have come here mostly for two reasons," he said. "First, for freedom. From the pilgrims in the 17th century to the Cubans and the North Koreans in the 20th and 21st centuries.

"And that freedom, of course, is not free, as the dead who rest buried here can demonstrate. The last line of our 'Star Spangled Banner' is, 'the land of the free and the home of the brave.' The two go together. Freedom is for the brave.

"The second reason they came, these immigrants, was for opportunity. My father, who was the most patriotic man I ever knew, used to say that in the old country, if your father was a shoemaker, you would be a shoemaker. And in America, you could be whatever you were willing to work hard enough to be and had the talent to be."


This article is part of a content-sharing agreement between Lebanon Daily News and WITF. 

Published in Adams County, News

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