"We shall either nobly save, or meanly lose, the last great hope of mankind."

Abraham Lincoln:
The Gettysburg Address

Abraham Lincoln

"...and that government of the people,
by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Delivered at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,
on November 19, 1863.

"At nightfall on November 18, 1863, a special train drew into the small station at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and President Abraham Lincoln and his party alighted. They were greeted by Judge David Wills, chairman of a committee supervising the dedication of a cemetery nearby, in which the bodies of most of the six thousand men killed in the Civil War battle fought there the preceding July might rest. Few could have dreamed that the President's brief address the following day would be remembered as long as the battle itself."
Allan Nevins

      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 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.

In the aftermath of his assassination, Lincoln's soldiers mourn their commander...

"Hush'd Be the Camps To-Day"
by Walt Whitman

by Rudyard Kipling

"If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, / Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, / Or, being hated, don't give way to hating, / And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise..."

by Senator Robert Byrd

"It is hard to imagine that our Founding Fathers would have undercut their speech with any of the all too common fillers that plague conversation today -- those 'ums' and 'uhs' and 'likes' and especially that inanity of inanities: 'you know.' How silly it is, how useless, what pure deadwood."