I, like most of my fellow citizens, am a proud American. As my wife and I get closer to the arrival of our daughter and first child, my mind reflects on the blessing of liberty my family enjoys. With great sacrifice we enjoy these freedoms. This freedom was paid for at great cost by men and women who believed they were creating something larger than themselves. From our nation's birth through the Civil War, America's involvement in two great wars and wars in Asia and the Middle East, good men and women have laid down their lives that others may enjoy what we here at home most treasure. In memory of the fine individuals who have given the ultimate sacrifice, I would like to reprint the Gettysburg Address, given November 19, 1863. President Lincoln's words are applicable today.
"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 the 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."
May God bless our veterans, the families of the fallen, our nation and our friends of liberty.