Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"The last full measure of devotion"

On this Memorial Day, we turn again to the Gettysburg Address. Here's the infamous Powerpoint version, a lesson in how to take a powerful message and reduce it to mush.
And here is the text of the Bliss Version (
with links to readings by Sam Waterston, Jeff Daniels and Johnny Cash):
Fourscore 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 battlefield 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 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.
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.

1 Comments:

Blogger Mark said...

Thank you for posting this. I had not seen the PowerPoint to the Gettysburg Address before nor have I come across these celebrity readings. While the Gettysburg Address is 143 years old and about a very different war, it is still a very fitting way to remember the men and women who have given their lives so that "government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth."

6:28 PM, June 04, 2006  

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