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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Seven Score and Ten Years Ago...

On this day, 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a two-minute speech that would go down in history as arguably the greatest speech in American presidential history.

The Gettysburg Address, which wasn't even meant to be the primary speech of the day (the Honorable Edward Everett had prepared a two-hour discourse to commemorate the occasion), has been rightfully praised as a landmark moment in the already stellar legacy that was Lincoln's presidency.  Even 150 years later, the words of his short speech stir our deepest emotions of patriotism and respect for those who give "their last full measure of devotion" in the service of their country.

Below are the words to the Gettysburg Address.  Take a couple of minutes today to reflect on them.  As you will see for yourself, there is only one major flaw in the speech. Lincoln stated that, "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here."

He couldn't have been more wrong.

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Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.  We are met on a great battlefield of that war.  We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who gave their lives that this nation might live.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.  The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but we can never forget what they did here.  It is fur us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have this far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
And for your listening and viewing pleasure:

1 comment:

Brian Tubbs said...

Nice tribute. Just linked to it from my American Revolution blog.