… 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.
– from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
On This Date…
On November 19, 1863, 150 years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to speak at the dedication ceremony of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. The cemetery commemorates the soldiers who fought and died at Gettysburg from July 1-3, 1863. At the Battle of Gettysburg, 3,155 Union soldiers died; 14,529 soldiers were wounded; and 5,365 soldiers were listed as “missing.” Confederate losses were even higher. The battle stands as the bloodiest three days of American history to date.
As President Lincoln looked upon the rows of graves, he said:
But, in a large sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it …from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.
We can pray today, in the words of President Lincoln 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.”
– Father McLaughlin