Fourscore 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 battlefield of that war. We have come to
dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who
died here that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety
do. 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 hallowed 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 rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great
task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take
increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the
last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that
these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation 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, Gettysburg Address, Nov. 19, 1863