Monday, November 19, 2012

Today, in 1863

November 19, 1863,
President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous two minute speech
the Gettysburg Address,
dedicating the National Cemetary at the battlefield
of Gettysburg.
There were actually five copies of Lincoln's speech.
Contrary to legend, Lincoln wrote his speech a day or so before the address,
while still in Washington DC.
He revised it later,before the cemetary dedication,
while staying at the home of a local attorney,
David Wills.
Later he penned three more copies of his address,
to autograph and provide to acquaintances.
Interestingly, in several of the later copies,
Lincoln removed the name of God,
where he had originally penned it,
near the end of the speech,
when referring to "this nation under God..."
However, historians tell us that there were many accounts
stating Lincoln did indeed use the name of God
when delivering the address.
One hundred and forty nine years ago today....
To me, one of the most profound lines in the address is:

"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here."

Little did we know....
Thousands of children, like myself, would memorize this famous 272 word speech,
long remembering what was said there on that Dedication Day.

Lincoln's 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 cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot 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."

Info gathered from the National Park Service.

This photo, taken at Gettysburg is one of only few rare known photos of President Lincoln.

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