Thursday, November 19th,

1863. It took him only two or so minutes to say, but in those 120 seconds he delivered the finest speech ever given on these shores, one that clearly and succinctly summed up who we are as Americans and why we must continue the struggle, against enemies both external and internal, for the ideas laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

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.

May we always honor and hold true to these words.

4 Responses to “Thursday, November 19th,”

  1. WunderKraut says:

    Such a great speech. I wonder if kids still have to memorize it like I did in school

  2. Skyler says:

    A great speech, more remarkable for the irony that he destroyed the entire purpose of the American Revolution by ending the right of self-determination.

    The curse of slavery was used by Lincoln and his former whigs to transform the government into a centralized power. The increase of federal power has marched forward for many reasons, but Lincoln, slavery, and the civil war was one big step.

    Put me in the minority that doesn’t buy the incessant hagiographic treatment of Lincoln.

  3. Robin from Central AZ says:

    It’s a wonderful irony that We the People do indeed remember what happened on that day and do regard this speech as one of the greatest ever written. Thanks Mr. B for reminding us of this anniversary.

    PS. Our current president would never deliver a speech of this length without the word “I” appearing in it at least once.

  4. Mr. Bingley says:

    I think ‘once’ would be a record for him in a speech this long.

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