Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thoughts on the 150th Anniversary of Gettysburg Address

Why did Obama skip the event and drop God from the address?

It is perhaps the most sublime political speech in American history. As a document it stands alongside the Declaration of Independence but manages to do something that even the Declaration could not. In only 272 words, ten sentences in all, it encapsulates the American experience; our sacrifice for freedom and the definition of our core democratic principles. Who can forget the words that government must be "of the people, by the people, for the people?"

Obama did not attend the anniversary as his predecessors have done on important anniversaries in years past. Though it would have taken him less time to go and return by helicopter than his weekly golf outing he sent recorded remarks instead. That's the equivalent of Lincoln sending a telegram to the original event. Perhaps Obama didn't go because, unlike most of his events, this one wasn't all about him. Maybe he doesn't realize the significance of this speech. After all, he grew up in Indonesia and has never had much education in American history. Or could it be that he knew anything he might say would look small in comparison to Lincoln.

Either way, Obama did a recitation of the speech for a PBS special. But in the speech he read the words "under God" were omitted. Only Obama would dare edit Lincoln.''

Illinois students don't know Lincoln was a Republican

Turning Point USA, a conservative student organization went to Northeastern Illinois University to ask students whether they knew which political party Abraham Lincoln belonged to.  With all the left wingers at universities rewriting history I guess we shouldn't be surprised that only two knew Lincoln was a Republican. In fact, he was the first Republican president and led a newly formed party that was founded in no small part in opposition to slavery. Democrats were the pro slavery party and some might say they still are with their promotion of big government programs that keep the poor poor.

The Gettysburg Address

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.
--Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863

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