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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Thu. 11/12/09 10:59:47 AM

One Week Until Dedication Day

The upcoming anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, in the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth.

Next Thursday, November 19, is Dedication Day 2009 — the anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg, now called the Gettysburg National Cemetery.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a Dedication Day resolution this year:

H. Res. 736

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

November 3, 2009.

Whereas, on November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln dedicated the Soldiers’ National Cemetery on the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, with the Gettysburg Address, which harkened back to the promises of the Declaration of Independence in the first sentence, “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”, and which called upon people of the United States to dedicate themselves to the principles of democracy so that government “of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth”;

Whereas Congress adopted a joint resolution on August 7, 1946, declaring the Gettysburg Address to be “the outstanding classic of the ages”, designating November 19 as “Dedication Day” in honor of the Gettysburg Address, and suggesting that the Gettysburg Address “be read on that day in public assemblages throughout the United States and its possessions, on our ships at sea, and wherever the American flag flies”; and

Whereas 2009 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln and bicentennial tributes to his birth are expected throughout the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) honors President Lincoln’s greatest speech, the Gettysburg Address; and

(2) encourages people in the United States to read the Gettysburg Address on “Dedication Day” in public places across the Nation.

Attest: Lorraine C. Miller, Clerk.

Here is the accepted standard version of the Gettysburg Address:

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.

Lincoln's Collected Works has more information on the text.


Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Thu. 11/12/09 10:59:47 AM
Categorized as Historical & Literary & Speeches and Suchlike.


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