For John, BLUF: The Gettysburg Address builds on a tradition over 2,000 years old. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Tomorrow is the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The National Park Service will be helping to celebrate that Anniverary with a reenactment of the speech:
This year's Dedication Day ceremony on November 19 will observe the 150th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. in the Soldiers' National Cemetery and is sponsored by Gettysburg National Military Park, the Gettysburg Foundation, the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania and Gettysburg College.You can see more here.
The ceremony, with the actual reenactment of the speech, by Mr James Getty, can be seen HERE, starting at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, 19 November.
The speech isn't very long, as we can see below:
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.The summary at Wikipedia can be found here. In there is a discussion of the role of Pericles' Funeral Oration, as it comes down to us via Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. Yes, that Pericles. The one caught having a beer with our Mayor at a local watering hole, but who is usually hiding out at City Hall, in the Mayor's Reception Room.
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 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 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.
Regards — Cliff