GETTYSBURG ADDRESS

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

At the site of one of the Civil War's pivotal battles, Lincoln delivered an address that was as succinct

— just about three minutes and 265 words long —

as it was memorable.

As he helped dedicate a cemetery to Gettysburg's fallen soldiers,

he issued a stirring plea for the country to pay them tribute by honoring principles

— liberty, equality —

worth dying for.

Fourscore 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 battlefield 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 cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot 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.