"Our hope is that she will bring her family back one day," Maryann Stewart said.
Kim Woods, of Wayland, Mass., decided to stop in Gettysburg after picking her son up from a camp in Annapolis, Md.
"I came to Gettysburg two years ago with my older daughter looking at colleges," she explained. "We literally drove in and out of Gettysburg" after looking at the local college, and they didn't make it to the battlefield.
Woods said that made her feel like a bad American.
Her son, Christian, 15, was excited to stand in a place of such historical importance.
"Certain events in the past signify where we are today," Christian said. Gettysburg "is the battle that changed the fate of America. How many men died here for this single idea?"
Steven Tye, a re-enactor from Pekin, Ind., returned to Gettysburg for the first time since he graduated from high school.
"Do you ever feel haunted, like something gnaws at you for awhile?" Tye said. "I have waited 19 years to come back here."
Tye said his introduction to Gettysburg came from writing a paper in grade school.
Since then, he's been fascinated with the place.
This year, he came with his son, Andrew, 12, and their friends to participate in the Blue Gray Alliance re-enactment being held at the Bushey Farm outside town.
Tom Garvey and Wendy Hoffert, of Akron, Ohio, said they couldn't stay away from Gettysburg.
"We're next door," Hoffert said. "For me, (coming to Gettysburg is important) because it's hard to fathom all the losses. . . . This is one of the biggest moments in our history."
She said her great-great-grandfather trained cavalry horses, and that adds to her interest.
Garvey said he loves the questions the battlefield sparks in his mind.
"Where would we be if the outcome was different?" he said.
On Dec. 7, 2011, Steve Platte, of Grand Rapids, Mich., was at the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
"I guess I like anniversaries," he said with a laugh, explaining why he made the 620-mile drive to Gettysburg. A retired science teacher, Platte said he is a history buff.
"I've never been here before. I came because I wanted to go to a re-enactment. I wanted to be here because (Gettysburg) was significant to our history," he said.
Platte recalled being at Pearl Harbor and picturing the Japanese planes, like mosquitoes, flying overhead and dropping bombs.
Friday, he stared out over the Gettysburg battlefield and pictured the Union and Confederate armies clashing, the blood that was shed. "It was the turning point of the history of our country, this battle," he said. "This is big. This is cool."