Power Quotes on freedom, sacrifice and unity: The 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address"
Abraham Lincoln remains larger than life
I am moved by this man. Abraham Lincoln rises as our greatest president, most eloquent speaker, and forward thinking hero. He was not perfect, but in reflection he seems nearly so. The nation he dealt with certainly presented greater hardships than the bundle of colonies grappled with in the early days of the union. He clung to a pseudo-nation that was actually a "house divided."
He had to deal with the slavery issue that the founders had put off "Four score and seven years before," and with a flimsy collection of bickering states that did not conceive of themselves as bound or united. His speech at Gettysburg, only 150 years ago, stands among the highest of all his words, and perhaps higher than any words spoken about this nation.
The Gettysburg Address impresses for so many reasons, its skillful brevity one of the greatest. 51,000 soldiers had died in three days, in the midst of rivers of blood and air thick with bullets. Lincoln knew that the more words he added to his speech, the more weight he would add to the horror of the fallen.
But, as a lover of literature, I note that his beauty and economy of words rise to all the ills the country suffered, unimaginable anguish. He suggests that his words will not add or detract from the event, but he was wrong; they do somehow add to the courage and losses suffered there.
He points the nation to a focus of unity and offers them a call to action, saying "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 new birth of freedom was a liberty for all people, a nation in union devoted to it, and his sharply focused text dedicated the country to the cause. There does not exist a greater example of copywriting in all of American history.
At the same time he offers full respect for the memory of the dead, he turns the heads of the citizens remaining, sharply, snapping them painfully to attention. On the blood underneath their heals, he pledges absolute devotion to the cause and requires, compels the Nation to rise above the bloodshed with a vision of unity at the forefront. The high resolve he demands of them is equal to the resolution of the fallen soldiers.
You will also enjoy these power quotes:
Please share your thoughts on Abraham Lincoln, his Address, or The Civil War. Your words will be valued here.
By Darin L. Hammond
Darin works for BlogCatalog, owns and writes at ZipMinis.com, and freelances as a writer and designer. Darin Publishes across the web on sites like Technorati, BC Blog, Blog Critics, Broowaha, Demand Media Studios, SteamFeed, and Social Media Today. Find Darin on Google+.