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Defining America

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  • Defining America

    A little over 146 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech dedicating the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. That speech has come down to us as The Gettysburg Address, arguably the single best known speech in American history. The speech has always had particular significance for me because I believe its first sentence – memorized by almost every American grade school student — better identifies the qualities of American uniqueness, and its promise of greatness, than any other phrase in the English language.

    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.

    Consider how much meaning that once sentence packs in.

    Our fathers brought forth . . . a new nation . . .
    Nations are not, as a general rule, “brought forth” with deliberation; they just happen. People wander here and there, their languages and customs diverge from those of their neighbors, geographic boundaries limit contact with others, and eventually the inhabitants of a particular area with common customs and language become known as a nation. Later they may develop government, wars may adjust the borders, but the nation is a creation of natural forces, not deliberate human design. But the United States of America was, as a nation and a government, “brought forth.”

    Conceived in liberty . . .
    Our founders chose their course freely, embarked upon their path from volition, not necessity. Liberty was at the core of the movement ...




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  • #2
    One of the greatest speeches ever by a President.
    The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

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