|Abraham Lincoln: ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE
DEDICATION OF THE CEMETERY AT GETTYSBURG (NOVEMBER 19, 1863)
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.
November 19, 1863.