The Gettysburg Address:
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.
The Gettysburg Address, to many people in this country has become more synonymous has a junior high school assignment of memorization, rather than it being fully appreciated and understood as one of the most profound speeches in American history. Abraham Lincoln spoke for just over two minutes, but those two minutes changed America forever. He stated that we will little remember nor note the words spoken here today, but we will never forget those who had fallen, and the ultimate sacrifice that they gave. Abraham Lincoln was right that we as a nation will never forget the battle of Gettysburg, but he was wrong when he stated we will little note, nor long remember his words.
As I have reflected on the Gettysburg Address I have come to fully realize that as a nation we have come so far, and even though things are far from perfect we are truly a great nation. A little over a hundred and forty years ago we treated humans as property, a tool to help tend to a farm. People were killed just for the simple fact their skin color was different. While racism and prejudices are still an unfortunate part of the 21st century, to even try and compare where we were as a nation in 1863 to where we are now in 2012 is impossible. Our nation was reborn during the Civil War, as President Lincoln alludes to, we are a nation where all men are created equal, and as free citizens of this nation our government is of the people, by the people, for the people, and we shall not parish from Earth.
- Robby Silk