Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A New Birth of Freedom: Remembering The Gettysburg Address

As you probably well know, today marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.  Thousands gathered in Pennsylvania to commemorate the event, and to reenact scenes from the Civil War.

The world will little note, nor long remember what I write here, but that cause for which the brave men of Gettysburg gave the last full measure of devotion was not just a cause for Lincoln's time, nor was it just a cause for the time of the founding in 1776.  The call for a "new birth of freedom" is as urgent now as it was then.

It is well that we commemorate this great speech.  In response to those who would be quick to criticize such a commemoration as an unnecessary exercise in hagiography, I would direct them first toward Lincoln's writings, and then toward Matthew S. Holland's masterful exploration of American History in Bonds of Affection: Civic Charity and the Making of America.  For those who lack the patience to read an entire book on the subject, may I recommend an insightful article on the Gettysburg Address by the same author.

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