Tuesday, July 2, 2013

By the People


The Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863 took the lives of more than 30,00 Americans on both sides of the conflict.  Union and Confederate armies had amassed tens of thousands of soldiers in the area, and though there was a clear and deliberate plan of action from the commanding officers, the beginning of the battle was never officially ordered by either side, it somehow just began.  

When it was all over President Lincoln used the site as a platform for re-framing the conflict.  In his Gettysburg address he makes it clear that his intention was to end the Civil War and preserve the integrity of the nation and the tenets upon which it was founded; freedom chief among them.

The entire Gettysburg address, which lasted less than two minutes:

"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."

References/Photograph of Abrahan Lincoln monents after delivering the Gettysburg Address:

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