November 20, 2006

Gettysburg Address

Sunday was the anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg address. David Shribman thought the occasion provided for thought about some well-considered actions that all Americans should take to get prepared for Lincoln's 200th anniversary in 2009.

So here is my prescription for how to celebrate Lincoln's 200th anniversary:

Encourage every American to read one book about the Civil War, the pivot point of American history. Encourage every American to look into the eyes of Lincoln in any one of a score of portraits, and to see the faith, courage and charity in those eyes -- and to make that the American vision. Encourage every schoolchild to do what generations of their forebears did, which is to memorize the Gettysburg Address, delivered 143 years ago today, and to get right, word for cherished word, the part about resolving that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

And one thing more: Encourage every American adult to read both of Lincoln's inaugural addresses -- it will take less than four minutes -- and to linger, in this time of war, on the very last paragraph of the second inaugural. You will be stunned at how those addresses live for us today. Look them up and you will see what I mean.

To help, here's the Gettysburg's address.
Here's the First inaugural address.
And here's the Second.

Once America was blessed with an outstanding leader during one of it's most perilous times. Would be that we could say the same today.

Posted by Mary at November 20, 2006 01:03 AM | History | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

Looks like trackbacks don't work, so here's a trackback as a comment:

Thanks for posting the pointer to David Shribman's column. I have more to say about it over here.

Posted by: Barry Leiba at November 21, 2006 04:13 PM

Rats... the trackback did work. I just didn't wait long enough before refreshing the page. Sigh....

Posted by: Barry Leiba at November 21, 2006 04:14 PM

And I'm glad the trackback worked, because it was a really nice essay. Thanks, Barry, for sharing it with us.

Posted by: Mary at November 21, 2006 05:05 PM