12 February 2009

The Gettysburg Address by President Lincoln– November 19, 1863

This is one of the most important speeches in US history! When I was a boy, we had to memorize this speech in school. Thankfully it isn’t very long. This speech was given at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the bloodiest battle of the Civil War took place on the same site.



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.

score vingt
to bring forth (literary) produire, introduire
whether si
resting place un lieu de repos
altogether complètement
fitting qui convient
to hallow consacrer
to struggle lutter
to detract diminuer
rather plutôt
thus far jusqu'à présent
nobly noblement, grandement
task la tâche
to resolve décider
to perish périr

To learn more about this document and Gettysburg visit the following links:

Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg

Animated history of the Battle of Gettysburg

The Brothers War: The Battle of Gettysburg

Gettysburg Visitor Information

The Battle of Gettysburg at Wikipedia

Gettysburg Address at Wikipedia

Gettysburg Address at Cornell University

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