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30 Days of Abraham Lincoln – Day 14

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 battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should 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 it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus 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 the 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 government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. — 1863

My Take – I can’t really add much to this.  We don’t make days like Independence Day or Memorial Day sacred. That was done long before we were born.  It is our task to take the rights and privilege that have been handed down to us and make something out of them.

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1 Comment

  1. I had to memorize this speech when I was in 8th grade. I honestly think it’s one of the best presidential speeches ever.

    We live only about 45 minutes from Gettysburg, and I hear these words ringing in my mind every time we go to visit the battlefield. I see them emblazoned on monuments, turned into book titles (Jeff Shaara’s “The Last Full Measure”), and more. Pennies line the marker in the cemetery, where Lincoln delivered this address.

    It always strikes me how wrong Lincoln was, though: “the world will little note nor long remember what we say here…” I wonder how surprised he’d be to see his prophecy borne out in reverse.


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