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.
After a two hours speech given by Edward Everett, an American politician, pastor, educator, diplomat, and orator from Massachusetts at the Gettysburg dedication November 19, 1863, 150 years ago, these are the word most remembered by many, given by President Abraham Lincoln, at the same event.
Some reports indicate that over 800,000 could have died in the Civil War, a war to do away with slavery, which took the lives of many blacks and whites. Now it seems that there are forces which are moving to destroy the work and sacrifice of those who died in that conflict.
There are many voices today screaming me, mine, I, it is my way, I am right, this is the best way; don’t you think it is time for us to take a break and reflect.
This November 19 let us take time to meditate on the above words, spoken with deep feelings of sadness, realizing the ultimate sacrifice by so many, with the hope that this Nation will endure.
Let us look to our Creator who has given us so much and who willing to bestow more blessing on us if we shall call upon Him. Let us not preach the words which follow but apply them to our hearts.
If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14)
March 4, 1865: In his second inaugural speech, President Lincoln looks ahead to the healing and reconstruction process.
With malice toward none; with charity for all…let us strive on to finish the work we are in…to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
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