To properly bury the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg, a "Soldiers Cemetery" was established on the battleground near the center of the Union line. Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin supported the proposal with state funds to purchase the cemetery grounds and pay for the reinterment of Union dead from inadequate grave sites that covered the battlefield. It was here during the dedication ceremony on November 19, 1863, that President Abraham Lincoln spoke of "these honored dead..." and renewed the Union cause to reunite the war-torn nation with his most famous speech, the "Gettysburg Address". The cemetery was landscaped by William Saunders, founder of the National Grange. The Cemetery was completed by 1872, and turned over to the care of the Federal government. In 1933 responsibility of the cemetery was transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service.
Today, the Gettysburg National Cemetery is the final resting place for American veterans from all of this country's major wars and conflicts. It is closed to new burials. The cemetery is also the site of numerous monuments and memorials including the "Friend to Friend" Memorial in the National Cemetery Annex.