Lincoln was not the main speaker of the day. In fact his invitation was actually an after thought to the dedication and he was asked to deliver a,” few appropriate words.” The great orator Edward Everett had delivered his usual masterful oration lasting more than two hours. Lincoln quietly rose and spoke for just two minutes. The crowd of nearly 20,000 made no response to Lincoln’s words because of the awe they felt from what they had heard. The President thought he had failed. Yet his two minute speech is is considered one of the immortal speeches of all time. Everett commented after ward that Lincoln had said more in two minutes than he had in two hours.
In his,” few appropriate words,” Lincoln sought to unite a Nation devastated by Civil War. He sought to honor those who, “gave the last full measure of devotion,” on the now famous battlefield. He sought to encourage Americans that the Nation would survive and be better as a result of the pangs of such a war. Lincoln succeeded in all he sought with the immortal words of 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.
146 years ago a real President leading a divided country sought to unite the greatest divide our Nation has known in a,” few appropriate words.” Today a pretender to the Presidency seeks to divide a Nation and take us down a path that Lincoln gave his life to unite and to find a rebirth of freedom.
Ken Taylor The Liberal Lie, The Conseervative Truth