The Gettysburg Address was delivered on this day, November 19, 1863 in the midst of the most horrible war in America’s history.
Every child in America was once required to memorize this address, as it encapsulates the American Idea. But that was back when schools were used for education rather than propaganda conduits.
Here, in Abraham Lincoln’s own words, is the reason for American exceptionalism. It seems to have fallen out of vogue, American exceptionalism that is, but maybe if we remember it’s origin we can revive it. Maybe in the 2012 election.
The Gettysburg Address:
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.
Gerard Vanderleun expounds on the Gettysburg Address as America’s Credo:
The credo tells us that we -- if we are to bear true faith and allegiance to all those who have built, stone by stone, poem by poem, word by word, and life by life, the city on the hill that is America -- must always be dedicated to the unfinished work that is always before us. The credo requires that we "highly resolve" to leave our nation in a greater state of liberty than we found it. And to leave our Union entire and intact as "the last best hope of Earth."
Islamo-fascism, an evil political-religious philosophy of subjugation, is waging a war against us and our political philosophy of liberty on a world wide basis. It would be good if the left and right factions within our country, while agreeing to disagree on just about everything else, could at least agree to fight against the real enemy in order to preserve the American Experiment.
“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.”
H/T Abraham Lincoln