Thursday, February 25, 2010

THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS...[under God] by Abe-Lincoln

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.

Lincoln delivered his two-minute Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg, the site of the battle that arguably turned that tide of the Civil War in favor of the Union. So short was his message that many in the crowd did not even realize he was speaking until he was done. But so powerful were the words that shown in a new light on the Declaration of Independence, a document espousing equality for all people. Just 10 months before, on January 1, 1863, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had declared freedom for the slaves. And whereas the Declaration of Independence put forth freedom for all as an idea, the Gettysburg Address was a bold step toward making a "new birth of freedom" for all, including the slaves, a reality.

The last written draft of the Gettysburg Address contained 265 words. However, as Lincoln stood to deliver the address, he added two words on the spur of the moment: under God. Lincoln's eloquent address is considered one of the finest speeches ever delivered by an American, and the addition of just two words reminds us of a truth that we must not subtract from America's equation: Our future will be assured and secured only as we remain under God, in His grace and guidance.

I would recommend the book UNDER Toby Mac and Michael Tait. It's about our freedom.

I think we should all read the Gettysburg address once in awhile or better yet memorize it.

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