The Gettysburg Address
This is the easiest post I ever made because I didn't write it! One hundred and forty-three years ago today, Abraham Lincoln stood at the dedication of a new national cemetary on the blood soaked fields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. What he said that day still resonates almost a century and a half later. It also makes one want to weep - to contrast what we had with what we've got. I will offer no closing comment. Mr. Lincoln needs no explanation from the likes of me. It is a wise thing, indeed, not to follow the New York Philharmonic with a harmonica.
Pray for peace.
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 all together 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.
November 19, 1863
With Malice Toward None
by Stephan B. Oates
This is, by far, the best one-volume biography of Lincoln ever written. Highly recommended.
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"The Rant" by Tom Degan
Old Abe Lincoln would have approved.