Yesterday was the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Nov. 19, 1863 Gettysburg Address. In reading Lincoln’s words, I could not help but think of the principles and sacrifice he described in the context of today’s war on terrorism. Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address at a low point in the civil war and after one of it’s worst battles, claiming 45,000 casualties of which approximately 7,000 were killed in action.
Please clear you head of all those old political arguments, either for or against the war in Iraq, and think of broader principles of freedom in the Middle East and the sacrifices of those fighting for that freedom as you read Lincoln’s words:
“Fourscore 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 it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. 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 hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.
It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation 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."
Audio link to the Gettysburg Address read by actor Jeff Daniels.
I think the last paragraph in Lincoln’s address is an appropriate juxtaposing to Iraq in that we owe those who "gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom".
Gettysburg is a quite place today because of those who sacrificed for freedom in Lincoln's time, and Fallujah, read what Greyhawk at The Mudville Gazette recently posted about progress in that city from a year ago.