A presidential message for the ages

Man has marched off to war for thousands of years. It is almost as if going to war was a right of passage for young men. For many it was a volunteer decision to save a country from invasion or raise a person’s position in society or even to have an adrenalin rush of adventure by marching off to war. For others it was forced conscription such as the drafts we have witnessed during the second world war and in the north during our civil war. For whatever reason, man has gone to war and man has died.

America has had a president for almost two hundred and forty years. This means that America has received thousands of speeches from our leaders and these speeches have been heard and for the most part locked away only to draw dust in some archive within our nation’s capital. Every once in a while one oratory presentation is remembered as a speech that moved the hearts and souls of America. Of those that are in the common public domain of great literature one has been identified as the greatest presidential message to have been uttered from the mouth of the leader of our great nation.
On July 1st through the 3rd two great armies faced each other in a bloody civil war that threatened to destroy a fledgling country that would eventually survive and become the bastion of democracy. Over seven thousand union and confederate soldiers were killed. The Union soldiers were buried and remained at Gettysburg. Seven years later the confederate were removed and sent home to be buried in specific locations reserved for Gettysburg dead.
Four and a half months after the battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his monumental speech that galvanized America’s place in the world.
“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. “
America did survive and it did advance and grow to become the greatest nation in the history of the world. It was the blood of those that came before us that nourished our country. It was the supreme sacrifice of those that gave their lives that allowed all of us the opportunity to become who we are. Thank God for these men and women that had a common vision to attempt a very unique experiment and then fiercely defended this experiment to a point that a country with the yoke of monarchy could not only survive but thrive.
The world is teetering on war. This may be several smaller wars around the planet or, God help us, a full blown total world at war. Either way there will be casualties and American families will grieve. Let us hope that we have the leadership to make the correct decisions that will lead us into battle and once there the ability to lead us to a final and just victory. Then let us hope that we have the person that will be able to console those that are grieving for those that have given the ultimate sacrifice.
God Bless America, Pray for the Ukraine and Save Israel.

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Thomas FieldsThomas “Tuffy” Fields is an author and regular contributor to The Gazette. He can …

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