“We can not dedicate— we can not consecrate— we can not hallow— this ground.”

“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.”  –The Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln

Today, I’ll be celebrating the quintessential American Memorial Day.  A parade, a picnic, and plenty of red, white, and blue!

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But, as Facebook loves to tell us, this isn’t the real meaning behind the holiday.

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Here in Gettysburg, that’s even more greatly reflected.

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However, as the celebrated President Lincoln spoke in his immortal piece here, we cannot do the dedicating, consecrating, or hallowing— that’s all been done by the brave men (and women) have done so more than what is in our power to do.

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Lincoln’s words all those years ago are true today.

So today, and every day, let’s remember those brave men and women, living and dead, who’ve struggled for our freedoms.  I’ve got military on both sides of my family, within my friends and coworkers.  I’ve got an inherent sense of pride when I think of these loved ones, and everything they’ve done.  Thank you all, for doing what the rest of us truly can’t.

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