Today is November 19, 2013. On this same date 150 years ago, a speech was given that while it only lasted a few minutes, the impact left from it powerful words still resounds today. The speaker felt that they would not be remembered nor adequate for the moment. But, they would not be forgotten on that day, but treasured for the last 150 years.
They were spoken on what once was a battlefield soaked with the blood of a nation in a battle of strife…this battle was for the ideal of unity, the ideal of freedom, and the hope for a nation that would yield it self to God in whom they claimed was their supreme trust.
Today, the idea of hope and a future for a free land under God’s sovereignty remains true. It also remains an ideal that must constantly be at the core of it’s citizens. These words speak to those that have sacrificed their blood and lives for this ideal…in duty and in hope. May they be a reminder today for you and I.
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.
November 19, 1863