I was at our museum this afternoon and found this writing I thought I would share. I don’t know who the author was, the occasion for the writing or when it was written.
Seven score and ten years ago our fathers brought forth to this area a new town, conceived in hope and dedicated to the proposition that all men must become farmers.
Now we are engaged in a great Social war, testing whether this nature or man, or any nature so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final growing place for those who grew and died here, that this area may be farmed. It is altogether fitting and proper that we do so.
But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate- we cannot consecrate- we cannot hallow- this ground. Many onions and potatoes, lived and harvested, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above the purpose of our poor fertilizer to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what grew here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the never-ending toil which they who toiled here have far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us here, to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us- that from these former muckers we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these muckers shall not have died in vain; that this area, under God, shall have each year a new birth of crops; and that this town of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.