Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two Moments in History

Exactly 146 years ago today President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19th, 1863, during the American Civil War, just four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the decisive Battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln gave what would become his most memorable speech ever -
"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."
Is it any wonder that Abraham Lincoln is my very favorite President? I think not!

Speaking of moments in history, today is also the anniversary of the historic birth of Tisha, the blogosphere's favorite CrAzY Working Mom!  Granted, it wasn't exactly 164 years ago or anywhere even close to that but it certainly was historic!  If you've got a moment, pop by and wish her a happy day and terrific year! 


  1. Beautifully done! I'm certain he never could have dreamed that his speeches would be placed on an instrument that could shoot words into space and be captured at the blink of an eye (well, quicker, but I don't know an appropriate expression!). He was a remarkable man, and is entitled to a place of honor in our nation, and in our hearts.

  2. If you missed the Gettysburg meeting, you can find Lincoln's PowerPoint at:

  3. I memorized the Gettysburg Address when I was a kid growing up in the public schools of Tennessee and assumed the things it said were true. That's when I was a child.

    Looking back, from the perspective of having studied American history for more than sixty years, I realize how false Lincoln's speech really was. Dishonest Abe Lincoln was a master of political spin, whose words were the polar opposite of his deeds. Government of the people, by the people and for the people was exactly the thing he was trying to crush in his unconstitutional and brutal attack on the Confederate nation.

    Lincoln's words are a mockery when one considers that he held 13,000 northern political prisoners, without trial or due process of law - just because they disagreed with his illegal war.

    Famous American writer H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), said of the Gettysburg Address: “The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination - that government of the people, by the people, for the people should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.”

  4. Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday Dear Tisha,
    Happy Birthday to you.

    Excellent post Linda. Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

  5. Incredible speech! Thanks for the reminder of the anniversary. :)

  6. Well written, Linda. A fine post to commerorate this illuminatuing occasion.

  7. Great minds must think alike. I blogged about the Gettysburg address today too.

  8. I love the photo linda, the cannon in the foreground is perfect.

  9. uh oh, that whole war of northern aggression is popping up again! ha ha ha, sorry, couldn't help myself!

    going to go see tish now and find some cake!

    smiles, bee

  10. Another great post, my dear! Hugs to ya...

  11. Your visiting historian has one version of the "truth" on his side. As with any political argument, it depends on the ranking of ones values and the climate of the times.

    Was Lincoln a great man, of course he was. Was he a politician with political goals, of course he was. Were the issues tearing the country apart long delayed literally from its founding finally exploding, yest they were. I and one great grandfather could think that preservation of the union and the elimination of slavery was worth a war at the time. The other great grandfather would probably disagree.

    Next time, if the south wants to secede: Let them.

  12. Wonderful post, Linda, about a speech most Americans hold dear.

  13. Abe didn't have a cadre of speechwriters that modern presidents have these days. It is brief and eloquent. It has emotion without being overly emotional. This speech made the preservation of the union, his main focus, a more moral crusade now. The death and carnage compels the listener to make this battle a reason to fight until victory for the one union to remain...

  14. Somehow or other, 'President' sounds so much more congenial than 'Prime Minister.'

  15. yes, he had a way with words...and I'm not telling you when my birthday is cuz I don't want any "164 years ago" references made about ME!!



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