Two centuries, two score and two years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great cultural 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 dedicated countless fields, here and abroad, as final resting places for those who 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—these grounds. The brave people, living and dead, who fought, have consecrated them, far above our poor power to add or detract. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated to the unfinished work which they who fought have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be 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 highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and understanding of what it means to be truly great—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
With thanks to Abraham Lincoln for his profound words,
June 1, 2018