Saturday, November 19, 2005

Today in history

November 19, 1863
Gettysburg, Pennsylvannia
Dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetary

July 1, 2, and 3, 1863 was the deadliest battle of the War Between the States. The field at Gettysburg, Pennsylvannia, was the stage for the 172,000 men. After the three day battle, more than 51,000 soldiers and 5000 horses lay dead.

Four months later, the field was dedicated, and burials were completed within six months.

President Abraham Lincoln gave the short address of dedication. His speech "appropriate few remarks" followed keynote speaker Edward Everett's two hour speech.

Read the Gettysburg Address below and remember this tragic time in our history.

Listen to the Gettysburg Address here. This audio version, accompanied with music, is worth your while to let this link load to listen.

For a historically-based fictional account, read The Civil War Trilogy (Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels, and The Last Full Measure) written by Michael and Jeff Shaara. As you read the Address below, notice from where the title The Last Full Measure comes.

Read and remember.

Fourscore 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.

1 comment:

Patty in WA said...

My boy is memorizing the Gettysburg Address right now. It is so powerful.