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Nov. 19, 1863

      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 can not dedicate -
we can not consectrate -
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. 

Abraham Lincoln, "Gettysburg Address"


This page created 9 Jan 2001
by Unkle Louie

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