This year is the 150th anniversary of one of the greatest battles in American history and of, perhaps, the greatest speech in American history - Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

July 3, 1863, probably was the most important single day in the Civil War. Union forces at Gettysburg won a three-day battle of attrition and put Robert E. Lee on the permanent defensive, and Ulysses S. Grant's army captured Vicksburg, Miss., and established Union control of the entire Mississippi River. It was the beginning of the Confederacy's end.

On Nov. 19, Lincoln delivered his brief speech at Gettysburg, eloquently restating America's founding principles and putting them in the context of the nation's future.

With exquisite timing as the anniversaries of the battle and the speech approach, Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey have proposed adding the train station where Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg, and 45 acres along the southern border of the battlefield, to the Gettysburg National Military Park. The 45 acre-tract was the site of cavalry battles.

Congress should approve the measure, demonstrating that modern Americans remember and honor what soldiers did there, and what Lincoln said there.