Eight-score years ago…

160 years – or eight score years ago – during the dedication of the soldiers’ cemetery at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln spoke the few brief remarks that became known as the Gettysburg Address. For the anniversary, here is the speech (from the Bliss copy) and some photography from the ECW archives.


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.


2 Responses to Eight-score years ago…

  1. So few care about these eternal words anymore. The kids aren’t being fully taught about the meaning or the ramifications of Lincoln’s words. People think they don’t apply now, that words from 160 years ago today mean nothing or very little today. I wish we had Abe here now. Maybe he could give us some direction as to how we straighten out our country’s current problems. “… but it can never forget what they did here.” Looks like that has happened already for many in this country.

  2. While I am willing to slag on children as much as the next man(I’m a teacher), I do a deep read of the Address every year.

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