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For me, the greatest challenge, is to read, or perhaps to recite out loud, this immortal speech without breaking down in tears...

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.

A. Lincoln

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    "...conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less." E. J. Dionne Jr.

    by Fulgour on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:20:22 PM PST

  •  I know... (0+ / 0-)

    I know what you mean...

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 03:23:22 AM PST

  •  I memorized that speech (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012, Fulgour

    when I was 8 years old.  I had an older cousin who had to memorize the first section and was complaining bitterly.  It was since that time that Abraham Lincoln was my favorite person in history.  I read all that I can that is written about him.

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 04:57:35 AM PST

  •  In 1790, just as our new government got (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckstop, bontemps2012

    underway, Benjamin Franklin presented the new Congress with a petition calling for the abolition of slavery. It created a firestorm. Representatives from the slave states had lots of nasty things to say about the idea, and Franklin responded with a humorous parody of the irrationality of the slavers. I think Franklin, who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, was trying to make the promises of the Declaration into the law of the land. He wanted Union, but he also wanted,"all men are created equal," and are therefore equally entitled to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This petition was Franklin's last public act.

    Abraham Lincoln, in my view, was trying to do the same thing at Gettysburg.

    Both of these great men recognized that "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" did not exist in America. They were trying to the dream come true. They were trying to create something out of nothing but an idea.

    Unfortunately, the dream has not come true even now. We have government of the People, by the elites, for the elites.

    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 Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:48:06 AM PST

  •  President Obama. (0+ / 0-)

    Our Lincoln.

    "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

    by bontemps2012 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:04:52 PM PST

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