The Gettysburg Address

Given November 19, 1863

“Fourscore and seven years ago
our fathers brought forth upon 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 this 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 dedicated 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,
and for the people
shall not perish from the earth.”

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