On Nov. 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln dedicated a national
cemetery on the battlefield at Gettysburg, where a few months
earlier over 7,000 men had died. Although Lincoln's address
received little attention at the time, it has since come to be
esteemed as one of the finest speeches in the English language.


"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."

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