Tuesday, November 19, 2013

150th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Historic "Gettysburg Address"

President Abraham Lincoln

Quite a monumental day in our American History, I would have to say.  So what have we learned as individuals, as a nation, since this historic day?  I wonder what Abraham Lincoln would honestly have to say, with respect racial equality, about where we are as a nation today? Definitely something worthy of thinking further on, would you not agree?

It was interesting to me to be reminded on this day, the 150th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s historical “Gettysburg Address”, that it was the Republican party, led by a Republican President who tirelessly and fearlessly led the charge that ultimately put an end to slavery in our nation. Lincoln's words remind us that those who fought to end slavery were willing to pay the highest price, laying their very lives on the line in a self-less sacrifice with both white and black –in fact, many different races-- fighting side by side in order to achieve the final victory of an end to slavery in our nation.  President Lincoln continues on to make his most important point: that to lose sight of the high cost which was paid, in order to achieve freedom for all, is to dishonor those who have given their own lives in order to achieve this noble end:  "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." ~Abraham Lincoln

Upon reflection, I think this 150th Anniversary should serve as a reminder for all us to revisit the truth of our history*, as a nation, as well as a call to recognize that it is ultimately actions which produce results, speaking louder than any mere rhetoric in a war of perception fueled by unsubstantiated words. Perhaps instead of making blanket statements, such as those recently made by Oprah Winfrey to the British media, those in a position with the ‘pulpit’ to do so would do better to address specific incidents –on a case by case basis, starting with the highest profile-- of abuse and disrespect toward President Obama, calling the perpetrators out by name with actual facts/statements to back up their claims. Perhaps then we could truly begin to make some meaningful progress toward the legitimate end of addressing the many problems currently plaguing our nation and its citizenry.

For more interesting reading on this historic day in our American History please visit: 


and  a special documentary put together by Ken Burns at "Learn the Address.org"

[* Among those truths, we find the following rather interesting facts:
1) The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which abolished slavery passed by a vote of 100% Republicans in favor, but only 22% Democrats were in favor of this amendment.

2) The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which proclaimed that free-slaves (African-Americans) were now full-fledged citizens of the United States of America passed by a vote of 100% Republicans in favor, but with 0% (not a single one!) of Democrats in support of this amendment.

3) The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which unequivocally gave African-Americans the right to vote in our U.S. elections passed by a vote of 100% Republicans in favor, but again with 0% (not a single one!) of Democrats in support of this amendment. 

... And just in case you were wondering: Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.]  

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