Annual Remembrance Day Parade takes place despite threat in Gettysburg

GETTYSBURG, ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. -- The 61st Annual Remembrance Day Parade in Gettysburg went on despite anonymous 'credible' threats made in a letter to the Gettyburg Times.

Police prepped for the event over the past few weeks saying their preparedness helped keep everyone who attended the event safe.

The parade saw a change this year because of the threats. Troops of reenactors marched along side hoards of police and traffic barricades, a surprise to some onlookers.

“The first thing I was surprised by was seeing the barricades and being told not to bring backpacks and coolers to the parade," said David Fawcett, who came from Ohio. “To wake up and see dump trucks and bulldozers and everything blocking the road. It was just amazing.”

The potential of danger on many peoples minds at the parade.

“I was a little nervous at first. Obviously, there was a lot of police presence here…. So I felt safe," said Christian Fritschi of Jacksonville, Florida.

Local, state, and federal law officers partnered for the festivities; troopers on horseback and Adams County Sheriff cars patrolling the streets. Officials also secured and shortened the parade route.

“They had the reenactors grouped much tighter than they normally would. Typically, it would go for a couple hours, and it seemed like less than an hour," said Fawcett.

The threat and pouring rain wouldn’t keep history lovers away, though.

“We didn’t have an incident, but it’s the new normal we all have to get used to. We’re still going to march in Gettysburg," said Karen Dunnam, a reenactor from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Gettysburg Police chief says he’s proud of the safety efforts by local, state, and federal authorities and thankful people weren’t afraid to attend.

“I think it shows people had confidence in us, and they wanted to be here, and to show - you’re not going to scare them off," said Chief Joseph Dougherty.