Monday, May 30, 2011


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.


Anonymous said...

So how are we doing as a nation with the "unfinished work" and the "increased devotion to the cause"?

I'm not sure what Abraham Lincoln would have thought of the enormous amount of self-congratulation that Americans regularly engage in, patting ourselves on the back collectively as a part of our daily discourse and, most conspicuously, in our public events.

Some degree of national humility may be a prerequisite to seeing things as they are. My guess is that Americans at least privately know by now that we are NOT "the greatest country in the world" in every sense of that phrase any more. The unease expressed in public opinion polls undoubtedly rests on a sense that we've slipped. But no one's courageous enough yet to demand that those who do the huffing, puffing rhetoric in our country begin to cut the crap and level with us.

As each decade goes by, we get further and further from the sensibility that gave us Abraham Lincoln, who was an unusual combination of honesty, modesty, political savvy, and will.

Patriotism should include candor about where we stand and what we have left to do.

Ed said...

Possibly off topic, but I couldn't help but compare this to all the concerns that the UMPD/APD/HPD have raised all year....

OK, and is that UM's fault too????

Anonymous said...

The town of Amherst does enough of the "hate/blame America" talk for the entire country.

Anonymous said...

It's not for everyone, but I personally would not live anywhere else.