News / USA

150th Anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address Marked at Battlefield

150th Anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address Marked at Battlefieldi
X
November 19, 2013 11:09 PM
One hundred and fifty years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a short speech honoring the soldiers who died in the Battle of Gettysburg. Today, his words are considered one of the most eloquent articulations of the principles the United States stands for. On Tuesday, the speech was read again at a commemoration at the Gettysburg Civil War cemetery. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky was there.
One hundred and fifty years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a short speech honoring the soldiers who died in the Battle of Gettysburg. Today, his words are considered one of the most eloquent articulations of the principles the United States stands for. On Tuesday, the speech was read again at a commemoration at the Gettysburg Civil War cemetery.

“Four score and seven years ago …”

A re-enactor dressed as Abraham Lincoln read the words spoken by the president on this day in 1863.

It was part of a ceremony held at the Soldiers' National Cemetery, where Union soldiers who fell in the Battle of Gettysburg are buried.

President Lincoln came here about 5 months after that "harvest of death," in the words of the man who took this photo.

The president gave voice to the nation's shock over the enormous casualties. They totaled almost 50,000, making it the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

"We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground," spoke President Lincoln.

His speech lasted little more than two minutes, and America's 16th president predicted that:

"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here"

He was wrong.

Princeton University historian James McPherson says Lincoln's legacy is synonymous with the founding principles of the republic.

"It was here at Gettysburg that Lincoln made the most eloquent and effective expression of these ideas," said McPherson.

Michael Crutcher is a veteran of the U.S. Army who makes appearances as abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass.

"The words were almost mystical and enchanting," said Crutcher.

Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust, a historian, says Lincoln was moved by what had happened here.

“He meant that he felt small, I think, in comparison to what had been given by so many here, and it was humbling, and he was left somewhat in awe of the courage and sacrifice that had been shown by so many on this field," said Gilpin Faust.

American schoolchildren used to have to memorize the Gettysburg Address. An online project, with the help of living American presidents, urges Americans to remember it a century and a half later.

“That this nation, under God," said former President Jimmy Carter.

"shall have a new birth of freedom," said former President George W. Bush.

"And that government of the people, " said Former President Bill Clinton.

"by the people, for the people," said Former President George H.W. Bush.

“Shall not perish from the earth," said President Barack Obama.

Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid