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Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center Opens Doors to Visitors.

Park Honored by White House as Part of Nationwide 'Journey of Remembrance' Flag Ceremony

GETTYSBURG, Pa., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Gettysburg Foundation and the National Park Service will welcome the first visitors to the new Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park on April 14. The new facility brings to life one of the most extensive Civil War collections through three-dimensional, interactive and hands-on experiences that will immerse visitors in the story of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War. Also on opening day, visitors to the Museum and Visitor Center can observe "Old Glory's Journey of Remembrance," a special flag-raising ceremony to honor America's fallen heroes organized by the White House Commission on Remembrance.

"We hope the new Museum and Visitor Center excites visitors of all ages about the lessons of the Civil War, and inspires them to learn more about the historic events that have shaped America," said Robert C. Wilburn, president and CEO of the Gettysburg Foundation.

The "Old Glory's Journey of Remembrance," ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the plaza in front of the new Museum and Visitor Center. Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation are co-sponsoring the ceremony, which will include -- in addition to the raising of the flag and, as it is lowered, the playing of Taps -- brief remarks by Park Superintendent John Latschar and Foundation President Robert C. Wilburn, participation by local veterans, and music and singing by area schoolchildren.

The flag began its journey at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 2007, and will have traveled to 25 of the country's national cemeteries and historic battlefields before arriving at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where the final ceremony will take place on Memorial Day 2008. Just before arriving in Gettysburg, the flag will have flown at Independence Hall and Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, and Fort McHenry in Maryland. A complete schedule for "Old Glory's Journey of Remembrance" can be found by visiting http://www1.va.gov/opa/vafeature/flag-schedule.asp.

"How fitting it is that we're having a flag ceremony to honor a modern generation that saved America on the same day that we open our new museum to honor and better understand a previous generation that saved this nation," said John Latschar, superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park.

The new Museum and Visitor Center preserves and presents the story of the Battle of Gettysburg, in the context of the Civil War, its causes and consequences. It also preserves for future generations the National Park Service's priceless collection of objects, artifacts and archival materials. Included in the museum are 12 exhibit galleries, a feature film, A New Birth of Freedom, interactive stations, multimedia stations, a resource room, the Refreshment Saloon, museum bookstore and indoor and outdoor classrooms. Beginning September 26, 2008, the museum will exhibit the only complete cyclorama painting on display in North America, "The Battle of Gettysburg."

The Museum and Visitor Center offers a new Gettysburg experience, inspiring visitors to learn more about the battle's significance in American history, and to draw connections between the events that occurred here and what is happening in their lives today. In addition to the new Museum and Visitor Center, the Battlefield itself is undergoing a multi-year, multi-million dollar rehabilitation to restore its historic integrity and create a sustainable environment by improving its wetlands, water quality and wildlife habitat. The new Gettysburg experience also includes the Soldiers' National Cemetery, at the dedication of which Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.

Gettysburg, "Our Country's Common Ground," is located in south central Pennsylvania, about nine miles north of the Maryland state line. It is about 55 miles from Baltimore, Md., and Thurgood Marshall Baltimore Washington International Airport, and about 85 miles from Washington, D.C., Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

The Gettysburg Foundation, http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/, is a private, nonprofit educational organization working in partnership with the National Park Service to enhance preservation and understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg.

Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American History. Information is available at http://www.nps.gov/gett.

Visitor Information for the New Museum and Visitor Center

The Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park will be open daily -- except Thanksgiving Day, December 25 and January 1 -- beginning April 14, 2008. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. -- 5 p.m. in winter, 8 a.m. -- 6 p.m. in spring and fall, and 8 a.m. -- 7 p.m. in summer.

Timed tickets to the new feature film A New Birth of Freedom, are $8 for adults (ages 13 and up), $6.50 for youth (ages 6-12) and free for children (ages 5 and under) from April 14 -- September 25, 2008.

Beginning September 26, combined admission to the feature film and Gettysburg Cyclorama painting and related exhibits will be $12 for adults (ages 13 and up), $10 for youth (ages 6-12) and free for children (ages 5 and under).

For more information, call 866-889-1243 or visit http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/ or http://www.nps.gov/gett. For the first time, visitors can also make ticket reservations and book tours online at http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/.
 For more information:
 Susan Stuntz, Gettysburg Foundation
 (703) 333-6136
 smstuntz@msn.com

 Anne Dattulo, Edelman
 (312) 240-2829
 anne.dattulo@edelman.com



CONTACT: Susan Stuntz of Gettysburg Foundation, +1-703-333-6136, smstuntz@msn.com; or Anne Dattulo of Edelman, +1-312-240-2829, anne.dattulo@edelman.com

Web site: http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/
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