Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Six score and fifteen years ago

Abraham Lincoln delivered his address at Gettysburgh in 1863:

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.

9 comments:

Bubs said...

Thank you. I didn't know that today was the anniversary. Have you read "Lincoln at Gettysburg" by Gary Wills? It's a fantastic little book about the speech.

Dusty said...

I didn't know either Delia..thanks sweetie. ;)

Sorghum Crow said...

That's my favorite little noted nor long remembered speech.
Apparently, Lincoln spoke after someone else's two-hour oration. The audience was distracted by a photographer setting up (new tech, dontcha know) and Lincoln was done before some folks realized he had started.

Randal Graves said...

NO! Lincoln was a Republican, you stupid socialists!

- Senator Tubes

dguzman said...

Bubs--that sounds like a great book. I'll look for it. Thanks!

Dusty--you're quite welcome.

SorCrow--how sad. Yet those first few words are still known today. What an amazing writer he was.

Randal--oh you old poop!

Mauigirl said...

I always liked the Gettysburg Address. We had to memorize it in 7th grade and I still know it by heart. Also the Preamble to the Constitution.

DCup said...

I'm glad you drew attention to this. I had no idea.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Six score and fifteen years already? It seems like just yesterday it was only 5 score.

dguzman said...

Maui-cool! I still know the Preamble, but we never had to do the Gettysburg Address. Too bad. It's a brilliant speech.

DCup--cool.

Barbara--yeah, in many ways, we're still that divided nation that needs to pull together...