FALLBROOK – The annual Remembrance Day event, sponsored by the Sgt. William Pittenger Camp 21 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, took place Nov. 19 on the porch of the Pittenger House, located at the Fallbrook Historical Society's Heritage Center.
"We typically celebrate in November with the reading of Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address," said Jerry Sayre, past department commander of the organization. "This year, our event is taking place exactly on the 159th anniversary of the greatest speech in American history.
The address was read by Mark Goodman, following remarks by Peter Huelsenbeck and Fred Hall, all members of the local camp of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Sayre acknowledged the appropriateness of holding the event at the Pittenger House, built by the Rev. William Pittenger in 1895. Pittenger was one of the first six Americans to receive the Medal of Honor for his participation in what has become known as "Andrews' Raid" and "The Great Locomotive Chase." He later settled in Fallbrook and served as pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which still stands on the corner of Mission and Fig.
Following the Remembrance Day ceremonies, members of the Civil War organization unveiled a collection of historic memorabilia, including Pittenger's sword and his handwritten journal, that are on permanent loan to the historical society.
"These priceless mementos were procured by my dear friend, the late attorney Phil Arnold," explained Sayre. "His estate has agreed to appropriately house them at the historical society. It's where they belong."
The event concluded with a generous donation presented to the historical society by Camp Commander John Kennan, in recognition of the organization's "outstanding efforts to preserve the history of Fallbrook and its many honored veterans."
Submitted by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.