August 15, 2002

...Shall Not Perish From the Earth

Carey Gage of Cognocentric defends the idea of reading the Gettysburg Address on the one-year anniversary of 911. I agree. It's very relevant--all except the "four-score" and "civil war" parts. We have now been running for more than two hundred years. Thank God, our current ongoing war is not a civil one. And it is:

...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.

CognoCentric: The Gettysburg Address is only nominally about a nation at civil war. It is about the sacrifice made by those who died in a war being waged so that "government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." It is about renewing the commitment of the living "to the great task remaining before us[:] ... that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion ..."

Posted by DeLong at August 15, 2002 01:59 AM | TrackBack


I agree with the sentiment, however, unlike the Battle of Gettysburg, those who died on 9/11 didn't volunteer/get conscripted nor train for the military; they didn't have the reasonable expectation that they'd die in the service of their country. (Excepting, of course, the noble rebels on Flight 93.) There is also no cemetery on the World Trade Center site. Only the last paragraph (the final two, perhaps) really fits for a 9/11 memorial.

Posted by: Partha Mazumdar on August 14, 2002 11:37 PM

To imagine there once was a day when Republican presidents could write like that.

If you-know-who had given the address, it probably would have gone something like: "My fellow Americans, we've been through some tough times here at Gettysburg, and will do so again. Now watch this drive!"

Posted by: Fabio Lanzoni on August 15, 2002 12:28 AM

"To imagine there once was a day when Republican presidents could write like that."

"It is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it."

"[N]o arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."

"We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free. Trust the people. This is the one irrefutable lesson of the entire postwar period contradicting the notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic development."

"[G]overnment's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

"The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern."

"We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much."

"How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."

"Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

All from Ronald Reagan (last one definitely gave it away, in case you hadn't already guessed). If Reagan himself couldn't write, somebody who worked for him sure could!

P.S. If only his actions had matched his words! (Then I would have voted for him in 1984, too.)

P.P.S. And this one is pretty spectacular, too:

"We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them -- this morning, as they prepared for their journey, and waved good-bye, and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'" ---Speech about the Challenger disaster, January 28, 1986.

Posted by: Mark Bahner on February 26, 2003 02:51 PM
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