Practice News Story 7: Speech
A 'Great Task Remaining before Us'
Lincoln captivates the audience in his gripping "Dedication to Devotion" speech
GETTYSBURG, Penn.- President Lincoln gave a stirring address in the dedication of the Gettysburg battlefield, yesterday, November 19, 1863.
On a hot, humid afternoon, where 1,500 people sat ready to hear the dedication given by the Union’s president, Lincoln aroused the American spirit with notes “of honored dead” that as Americans “take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion” and promises “that we (American people) here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.”
Lincoln caught hold of the audience with these notations and promises of a greater future ahead for a fledging country that has only been developing for, as Lincoln phrased it, “four score and seven years ago”- the 87 years that has seen this continent be thrust into a Revolutionary War, only to fight itself over additional rights, in a climactic, blood-ridden three-day battle that took place at this very site four months ago.
A strong theme evident in Lincoln’s speech was his point that no matter how much dedication goes towards Gettysburg, nothing can truly amount to honor the greatness that the men and women served on a grounds that saw 7500 soldiers killed in a mere three days. Lincoln constantly noted that while the dedication “is altogether fitting and proper… in a larger sense, we can not dedicate… we can not consecrate- this ground.”
Only a man as dignified and as respectful for this struggling nation as Lincoln could address these issues in such a gripping and relatable manner. It didn’t take him much words, but it had great affect on his audience yesterday afternoon.