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Abraham Lincoln

President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

It is said that President Abraham Lincoln wrote the address he gave at a battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania aboard the train while on his way there. The speach is quite short, yet seldom in history has someone written such moving words, words that summarize the entire formation and ideals of a nation, words that inspire us each time they are read.

Many have argued that Lincoln's methods during the Civil War were unconstitutional and possibly illegal, which is probably true. Did the ends justify the means? Perhaps not, but you have to admit that the man had a way with words. Accounts of the day claim that there was no applause when the President finished speaking, so gripping were his words that the crowd stood in complete silence.

President Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:

"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 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."

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