Monday, July 4, 2022

An American Credo: The Gettysburg Address

Another foundational American speech from one of the greatest presidents.  

One that reminds us who we are, what duties and responsibilities we have, and the work that remains before us.

One that, in my opinion, should be memorized by all American students.

Plus the language.  English used to its maximum power, in an astounding economy of words.

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.

Thanks, Gerard, for bringing up this gem.


  1. Ah yes, Lincoln....the savior of our 'Union' under force of arms...the man that brought us THE United States from these united States....suck on the myth.

    1. Yep, too bad antifa didn't tear his statue down. Ah, well, it's early yet. The only (p)resident that was worse than the current one.

    2. Back to the land of cotton, eh?

  2. Damned shame it's a monstrous lie. The only way it could be true is if it were addressed to the Confederate dead.

  3. H. L. Mencken wrote about this exactly 100 years ago:

    "But let us not forget that it is oratory, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it! Put it into the cold words of everyday! The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination — “that government of the people, by the people, for the people,” should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in that battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. What was the practical effect of the battle of Gettysburg? What else than the destruction of the old sovereignty of the States, i. e., of the people of the States? The Confederates went into battle an absolutely free people; they came out with their freedom subject to the supervision and vote of the rest of the country—and for nearly twenty years that vote was so effective that they enjoyed scarcely any freedom at all. Am I the first American to note the fundamental nonsensicality of the Gettysburg address? If so, I plead my aesthetic joy in it in amelioration of the sacrilege."

    - Borepatch