Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 15th: Not Just Tax Day

So we all know April 15th is Tax Day. Some sports geeks know that its the day Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball.

There is one thing that we all forget, April 15th, 1865 was the day Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theatre.

I could try to write some kind of post memorializing Lincoln, but it would be fruitless. This forum and my prose are not worthy of one of the greatest leaders the country and world has ever known. Instead I will simply post his words, take a second and think about the words, their meaning and their eloquence at a time of national crisis.

The Gettysburg Address
President Abraham Lincoln

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon 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 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 cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot 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.

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