You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Spielberg marks Gettysburg anniversary

‘‘I’ve never stood anyplace on earth where it’s easier to be humbled than here,’’ said director Steven Spielberg.

Patrick Semansky/AP

‘‘I’ve never stood anyplace on earth where it’s easier to be humbled than here,’’ said director Steven Spielberg.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. — Director Steven Spielberg expressed a sense of humility Monday as he delivered the keynote address during ceremonies to mark the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s ‘‘Gettysburg Address.’’

‘‘I’ve never stood anyplace on earth where it’s easier to be humbled than here,’’ said Spielberg, whose biopic about the 16th president is currently in theaters.

Continue reading below

His remarks were made at the annual event at the Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg, near the site where Lincoln gave the famous oration amid the American Civil War in 1863, four months after the battle in which the Union turned back an invasion of the North by Confederate troops under General Robert E. Lee.

About 9,000 people attended the ceremony, which included a reenactment of the speech. As part of the event, 16 new Americans from 11 different countries took the oath of allegiance to become US citizens.

Spielberg, who spent seven years working on his new movie ‘‘Lincoln,’’ said that the president came to feel like one of his oldest and dearest friends during the process, and that he sensed he was living in the presence of what he called Lincoln’s ‘‘eloquent ghost.’’

‘‘Lincoln wanted us to understand that equality was a small ‘D’ democratic essential,’’ Spielberg said, describing Lincoln’s three-minute speech as ‘‘his best and truest voice’’ and the single ‘‘most perfect prose poem ever penned by an American.’’

Carl Sandberg, in his biography of Lincoln, described it as a speech about how democracy is worth fighting for.

Spielberg spoke Monday of the interplay between history and memory, and between memory and justice.

‘‘It’s the hunger we feel for coherence, it’s the hunger we feel for progress for a better world,’’ he said.

‘‘I think justice and memory are inseparable.’’

The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.