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.
the gettysburg address - abraham lincoln - november 19, 1863