5/28/2007

Decoration Day

Every freedom that we enjoy (and too often take for granted) was purchased for us by courage, toil, sacrifice and blood. And on this day, when tens of thousands of our men and women are volunteers on fields of battle around the world, it is only fitting that we pause, not for mattress sales, but to honor their sacrifice.

To all those who have paid the ultimate price, we owe our gratitude. To all those who have served, we give our thanks. To all those who are serving, we pray for your success and safety. And to my father, thank you for your service to your country, and your love for your family. I am so proud to be your son.

God bless America. Please.

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.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863
The Gettysburg Address

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