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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 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.

271 words, spoken November 19, 1863, by Abraham Lincoln, at the dedication of the Battlefield at Gettysburg, where Lee's final sally North was turned back in 3 days of bloody fighting.

Worth taking time today to read through and ponder once again.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:49:04 AM PST

  •  Did you see the movie per chance? (4+ / 0-)

    amazing reviews. I can't wait to see it.

    Such a short speech isn't it? yet it says everything it needs to.

  •  reaction (6+ / 0-)

    of James Jones, WWII South Pacific combat veteran, to that rubbish, as related by his friend, fellow veteran, William Styron:

    Jim's face was set like a slab, his expression murky and aggrieved, as we stood on the marble reading the Gettysburg Address engraved against one lofty wall, slowly scanning those words of supreme magnanimity and conciliation and brotherhood dreamed by the fellow Illinoisian whom Jim had venerated, as almost everyone does, for transcendental reasons that needed not to be analyzed or explained in such a sacred hall. I suppose I was expecting the conventional response from Jim, the pious hum. But his reaction, soft-spoken, was loaded with savage bitterness, and for an instant it was hard to absorb. "It's just beautiful bullshit," he blurted. "They all died in vain. They all died in vain. And they always will!"
    •   the name's are the same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnson: Would you look at how fast they put the names of all our guys who got killed?
      The Sergeant: That's a World War One memorial.
      Johnson: But the name's are the same.
      The Sergeant: They always are.

      Samuel Fuller
      The Big Red One

      White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

      by BOHICA on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:13:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Continental Congress assigned Thomas Jefferson (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Wee Mama, radarlady, starfu

    the duty of composing the Declaration of Independence. He went to work in his room and, after a while, emerged with one of the most important documents in human history. But Jefferson’s original draft was not yet official. It was subject to the editing and approval of the other delegates. Not everything he put into the Declaration stayed there. He composed a list of tyranno-acts to show that King George was indeed a tyrant, and twenty-seven survived. Here is one that did not make it to the Declaration:

    He [King George III] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of a CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative [veto power] for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.
    Even though the facts of this paragraph were true, the delegates from South Carolina and Georgia did not like the statement that slavery violated the “most sacred rights of life and liberty.” Thus at the very birth of our nation, tyranni were opposed to opposing tyranny—when their own tyranno-economic system was a target. (Our modern counterpart to this tyranno-behavior is when the tyranni of Wall Street oppose any regulation of their predatory practices.) These southern tyranni wanted to overthrow the tyranno-hold of King George, but they did not want to endanger their own institution of slavery. Slavery is a tyranno-institution. There is no democrato-version of it, and only tyranni want to preserve, protect, and defend it.

    Jefferson, a slaveholder himself, intended this paragraph for the eyes of the world and he bitterly condemned slavery and the slave trade, calling the latter “this execrable commerce.” The shared economy of the colonies was dependent in considerable degree on the agricultural products from the South, and those products were dependent on the forced labor of black men, black women, and black children. They, or their ancestors, had been kidnapped and brought to America by the hundreds of thousands. Here, mostly in the South, while under threat of terror and bodily harm, they toiled their lives away in the service of white men, white women, and white children.

    The Founders, tyranni and democrati, concluded that the South was so important, in economic, geographic, political, and military terms, that it had to be kept in the revolutionary alliance at all costs, and so the South got its way. Jefferson’s comments about slavery were excluded from the Declaration of July 4, 1776. But the “all men are created equal” paragraph survived, and it was ultimately even more damaging to the tyranno-South’s “peculiar” institution of slavery.

    Try to imagine what Abraham Lincoln would have said at Gettysburg if “all men are created equal” had been omitted from the Declaration of Independence.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:35:14 AM PST

  •  The Blue and the Gray (1982) - Gettysburg Address (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, radarlady, Larsstephens

    This clip is from a 1982 civil war mini-series starring Gregory Peck, Stacy Keach, John Hammond, Julia Duffy, and others.

    In this scene, we have just witnessed the battle at Gettysburg, PA. Gregory Peck, playing the role of President Abraham Lincoln, delivers his Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863. The President's speech was considered short but powerful. This left the audience in a state of awe, and their applause was delayed at the conclusion of the speech.

  •  The results (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:20:16 AM PST

  •  Henry Fonda delivers it extremely well. (0+ / 0-)

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:34:56 AM PST

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