The Gettysburg Address 150th Anniversary

Although I was going to post an article about Soviet economics during the 1960s, I thought that considering this auspicious occasion of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s great Gettysburg Address, I would repost his speech below. Composed at a time when the future of the nation was indeed a bleak thought, President Lincoln inspired a people to believe in itself and to carry the banner of liberty from the horrors of civil war. It is a shame that today, 150 years later, the highest political leaders in our country have avoided the celebration of this momentous occasion. Instead, it was marked by a video recording which included the current holder of the office of the presidency committing an act of revisionist history and blotting out part of President Lincoln’s speech. But I digress. It has been said that Lincoln’s success here was due to his brevity, simplicity, and his choice of words. Needless to say, 150 years later, they continue to inspire.

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Gettysburg Address

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 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.

A. Lincoln

19 November 1863

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