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 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania