Gettysburg Mayor Recalls Meeting Civil War Veterans

Jul 4, 2013

Gettysburg Mayor William Troxell is busy welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors to his hometown this week.

He calls the 150th anniversary of the largest battle ever fought on American soil a wonderful event for Gettysburg and the nation.

Troxell brings plenty of perspective to this week’s sesquicentennial events. His is one of the few faces in the crowd that was also here for the 100th anniversary in 1963.

In fact, Troxell was here for the 75th too. He was 11-years-old when President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Eternal Light Peace Memorial in 1938.

He remembers being thrilled to meet some of the 1,800 veterans who returned to Gettysburg that July.

"That was a common thing in those days. Today, people see veterans of World War II walking on the streets," he said. "Well, my generation was the same distance after the Civil War as this present generation is today after World War II."

While calling it a remarkable celebration, Troxell said the 75th doesn’t compare to what’s happening this week. He said it's because people today are more involved in the Civil War and are aware of the impact Gettysburg had on American history.