As our country struggles with prejudice and the COVID-19 pandemic, President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address seems fitting for 2020.
Even more so today, as we of the United States of America celebrate our Independence Day, July 4th.
“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.”
We all have the right to be free to love, be loved, stay healthy, and enjoy our lives.
“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure.”
I feel division; I read about the hate, the pain felt by people of color, the disregard toward helping our neighbors (and our country) stay safe from COVID-19—ignoring requests to wear masks. It saddens me.
“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.”
I hold respect and gratitude for all the soldiers, medics, and all people who have held our country’s vision that we are a nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
America, we have been through (and continue to go through) many crippling wars. No one can forget how September 11th changed our world, just as 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic is doing now.
“But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.”
Let us not forget what the first 4th of July signified: independence for all men, women, and children.
“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 here 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.”
My hope on this July 4th is that our government continues to be of all people, by all people, and for all people. And that it shall not perish from this earth.
Let the bell of freedom (for all) ring: