November 19, 2008

Gettysburg November 19, 1863

chilly blustery day reading history mood

Today was the anniversary of the Gettysburg address by President Lincoln.

Here you can see him in this portion of the only photograph taken on that very day.Its part of a much larger photo. It is thrilling to me to see him like this.

I spent the night in Gettysburg a few years ago in a house on a battle field whose kitchen had been a surgery.
To say it was an odd experience would be an understatement. It was filled with emotion and wondering.
A trip to Gettysburg is always filled with both. The land there was soaked with the blood of fine American boys who died for what they all thought was right...both sides. Both sides good and decent men and boys.

The ground in the fields had so much blood that the next year there was a bumper crop of corn and other vegetation.
No one ate it.

Ghosts are said to ply their way around town. Certainly memories do. It is a completely awe inspiring place as was Valley Forge and Mannaseh.. and other battle fields I have been to.
But Gettysburg was something to remember and I noted that other visitors felt it too.


Here is the Gettysburg Address. We had to learn it in school.

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon 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:

  1. This was very good to read. I too had to memorize the address but haven't thought of it for years..thanks for posting. We have never been able to travel anywhere and it is fun to read about places that others have gone to see.


I love hearing your thoughts and your visits mean a lot to me.