Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Abraham Lincoln Speaks: With Malice Toward None


Lukes American Adventures Abraham Lincoln Speaks: With Malice Toward None

In the spring of 1865, the American Civil War was nearing its end, and the Union stood on the brink of victory. Union General Ulysses S. Grant was driving Confederate General Robert E. Lee back toward Richmond, Virginia. Union General William T. Sherman had cut through Georgia to the sea, obliterating everything not of use to the army along the way. On March 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was sworn into a second term. In his second Inaugural Speech, he sought to explain the meaning of the war and to establish a basis for restoring the United States. At a time when Union victory was within days of reaching and slavery was near an end, the newly re-elected President did not speak of triumph, but of sadness.

He begins:

Abraham Lincoln's Second Inagural Address

Lincoln was very cognizant of the power vested in him. In his speech “A House Divided,” he acknowledged that a decision for the nation would have to be made, and reiterated in his first inaugural address that a war was not his decision - if there was to be war, that was the People’s choice. He used the powers given to him by the People to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, and dedicated the fields of Gettysburg that “a new nation...of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Here, in his second inaugural speech, only slightly longer than the Gettysburg Address, he again places the focus on the People.
 
Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaguaral Address

Lincoln then used his Address to touch on the question of Divine providence. He often wondered what God's will might have been in allowing the war to come, and why it had assumed the terrible form it had taken. More than half a million men were dead, and the fighting was still going. In the popular mind, both sides of the Civil War assumed that they could read God's will and acquire His favor in their opposing causes.  Lincoln believed that war was the people’s doing, not God’s.  He couldn’t imagine God would condone slavery, yet he could not resolve himself to the idea that it was only through overwhelming death and destruction that it would be abolished:
Abraham Lincoln's Second Inagural Address
The popular sentiment of the time was “Right is might,” and those who won had God on their side. But while slavery would eventually be outlawed, there were few “winners” in war. The war had taken a toll on both sides, with families torn apart and the nation in tatters.

However, Lincoln also believed that it was never too late to begin anew. He felt a better use of God’s benevolence would be to ask for His aid in bringing peace to the land. Rather than singling out any given group, he instead asks all good people to work together to unite the country and help those who suffered during the past troubles. While Lincoln believed all men, regardless of race, were equal, he stressed it was not his duty to shun those who had differing opinion. His intent is to begin the process of achieving peace for all.  If war was declared by the people, then could not peace be brokered by the people? He concludes his speech with these words of reconciliation:

Abraham Lincoln's Second Inagural Adress

Lincoln asks the people again to be the nation they were meant to be; it was time to put the nation back together. The majority had spoken - the Union had overtaken the Confederacy, and an inevitable surrender would come at Appomattox a month later. However, this great leader of the people did not know that he would not live to finish the peace-making his term had begun; in just over a month, the people of his battered yet beloved nation would mourn his death.

Abraham Lincoln Speaks:
Part 1:  A House Divided 
Part 2: The President's Job Description
Part 3: Liberty for All?
Part 4: A New Birth of Freedom
Part 5: With Malice Toward None
Part 6: Now He Belongs to the Ages





 

©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://adventureswithjude.com

Thursday, December 11, 2014

MacPhail Online Virtual Recital

Two summers ago, we were blessed with an opportunity to do the Crew review of MacPhail's online music program.  Celia fell in love with the program, and we decided to continue with it, in addition to her regular "in person" lessons at school.  She continued with it over this past summer again, and it was a wonderful way for her to keep her skills up and even progress forward.  Miss Kim, her school violin teacher, couldn't believe how much she learned over the summer.

Because of her MacPhail lessons, she has had lots of opportunities to play her violin at school.   This holiday season, she was asked to participate in the evening Christmas Show prelude, and is playing with another student at the upcoming school Christmas prayer service.  She's practiced intently for several weeks now and did a wonderful job at the show.



MacPhail also offers opportunities for their students to perform.  In the past, it's been limited to those who live in the Minneapolis area and take in-person classes.  This year, MacPhail's directors decided to try something new - a Virtual Recital.  Students were asked to choose a piece of music and record themselves playing with it.  MacPhail then compiled them into a virtual concert.

MacPhail Online's first Virtual Recital


Celia enjoyed seeing the other students play, and was amazed to see there were students from all over the world taking part!  Plus, the virtual recital was perfect for far-flung relatives to be able to see her play (even Aunt Jo and Uncle Brendan in Australia could see her.)

I hope you'll take a few minutes to watch the students in the virtual recital.  We are proud of all of them!   Click on the image below to take your seat!

http://www.macphail.org/vrecital




©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://adventureswithjude.com

Friday, December 5, 2014

5 on the 5th - December 2014

 I'm joining up with Marcy at Ben and Me for her "5 on the 5th" linkup.  The idea is to shine a light on five blogs/posts that you've particularly loved.  What inspired me this past month?

5 on the 5th December 2014


1.  Five Tips for Better Images from Do Try This At Home.  I admit to being a very amateur photographer - I have a good camera but don't play with it as much as I'd like to.  Since we're almost to New Year's and thinking about resolutions, I'm considering "Get out of your point-and-shoot rut" for one of them.


2.  Once I take my pictures, I like using Lightroom to edit them.  They never come out of the camera looking the way I see the image in real life, and some subtle editing can really bring them back to life.   4 Tips for Efficient Editing in Adobe Lightroom from The Life of a Crafty Wife has some great ideas.  I tried her first tip - marking the ones I liked and sorting from there - and it definitely made editing and saving go more quickly.


3.  Learning American History through Movies from Heart of Wisdom blog has a FANTASTIC list of movies for every era of US History.  Some are for older students only (and flagged if they have more restrictive ratings - PG13, R, etc.), but I think this is going to be a great resource for Jude.  He loves history, and soaks up video-based presentations. 


4.  FREE Christmas Worksheets from Mrs. Karle's Sight and Sound Reading.  Jude and I are trying something new this month - "Christmas School"! All of our lessons have had a Christmas theme - we're working on a Nutcracker Lapbook, and some holiday-themed Math worksheets, and these color-by-word sheets are a great for rounding off our studies.  (Bonus:  there are some color-by-letters for Damien to work on, too!)

5. I recently read How 936 Pennies Will Forever Change How You Parent at From Famine to Foodie.  I admit to tearing up, because "time flies" has hit hard this week.   Luke found a stack of college advertisement letters that came while we were on this vacation; the baby-faced Damien I had tucked in woke up from a nap, and suddenly looked like the "big boy" almost-kindergartener he is.  I'm not about to go out and get a jar of pennies for each child, but reading this really brought home how when they're newborns, we think we have all the time in the world, but in reality - they'll be grown before we realize.


http://benandme.com/2014/12/5-on-the-fifth-december-2014-2.html

Come join the party!









©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://adventureswithjude.com

Monday, December 1, 2014

Jude's favorite Homeschool Tool: The iPad



Jude's favorite tool is his iPad.  I know that when all else fails, if I can find an app for something, he will try it.   I know that some people are concerned about "too much screen time," and feel young students don't need electronics, but my philosophy is "If it works and he's learning, I'm not sweating it."  Sometimes, it's that "hear-say-TOUCH" that makes things click, and when you have a sensory-sensitive child who loathes shaving cream, finger paint, and sand, a tablet provides tactile input without the mess.


It also provides motivation.  When he was asked at speech therapy what he wanted HIS goal to be, his answer was "For Siri to put on the show I say."  His articulation was so poor that the iPad never understood him, and he was dependent on us to put a video on for him because he couldn't read or write the titles.  He wanted to do it himself, and when he struggled with therapy, we reminded him, "When you get better, Siri will understand you."  This fall, he was itching to write his letter to Santa; I told him he had to wait until after Halloween.  Practically on November 1st, he was back at it, bugging to write his letter.  When I couldn't stop immediately to help him, he got creative.  Instead of asking me how to spell things, he spoke them into YouTube, and then copied the words onto his list!  Siri understood!



If I can find an App to make something come alive, he's right there.  Here's a list of our top 3:

 1.  You Tube.  (You knew this was coming, right?) While Jude does watch plenty of videos "for fun," we also find some great learning resources.  We watched the entire Liberty's Kid's series on his iPad, and there are many Sesame Street vignettes that have become favorites.  With so many duPont trips, "Have WiFi, will learn!" has become our motto.

Bonus: Disney Junior. While this is geared toward preschoolers, with Jude's delays, he still fits in the target age developmentally.  Favorite characters teach both school lessons and good character choices.



2.  Kindle.

I love my Kindle App.  Now that Jude is beginning to read, he's starting to enjoy his.  There are many books that are only available for tablets, but even his favorite DC Superheroes book is better in "wide screen."  Plus, reading to him is much easier on a tablet than my phone - the text is bigger.




3.  Power Rangers Key Scanner

 I think this is Jude's favorite of all, and I mention it because it motivates him.  While we often do schoolwork with the iPad, he can earn playtime as well.  Jude has really caught on to the Power Rangers, and he likes to watch videos and re-enact scenes with his toy Ranger Zords.



 
While Power Rangers may not be what motivates your child, there are hundreds of kid-friendly apps out there.  Jude chose a Power Rangers app as his reward, what would your child choose?



In need of a tablet?  Enter the giveaway below!



Christmas Fire Giveaway 

The Crew is on hiatus from writing reviews until January. So while we have a little time on our hands, we thought we'd bless our awesome readers with a super cool Christmas Fire Giveaway! Twenty of our team members and The Old Schoolhouse have joined together to sponsor this incredible giveaway with 3 winners! We are excited to be giving away not one, not two, but THREE Fire HD Tablets! One person will win a Fire HD 7 Tablet, and TWO people will win a Fire HD 6 Kid's Edition (in your choice of lime green, blue or pink).

Fire HD 7 Tablet ($139 value, one winner)

Powerful, full-featured Fire HD tablet—with beautiful 7" HD display, 2x faster quad-core processer, dual speakers with Dolby Audio, and unsurpassed reliability in its class.

Fire HD 6 Kid's Edition ($149 value, two winners)

All-new Fire HD 6 tablet—with 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, Kid-Proof Case, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee—up to $95 in savings

Giveaway

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. The winner will be announced at our It's a Crew Christmas Facebook Party on Tuesday, December 16, 9PM ET. RSVP for the Christmas Party. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Amazon. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn. Entry into this giveaway will subscribe you to the Schoolhouse Review Crew email list.

Sponsoring Crew Bloggers

Only Passionate Curiosity
I Choose Joy!
Homeschool Encouragement
 Ben and Me
The Potter's Hand Academy
 As We Walk Along the Road
Adventures with Jude
A Mama's Story
futureflyingsaucers
Kathys Cluttered Mind
Footprints in the Butter 
Crystal Starr
Lextin Academy
Living Life and Learning
My Harbor Lights
Our Homeschool Studio
 Pea of Sweetness
Embracing Destiny
Be The One
Simple Living Mama

Our team of bloggers will be sharing about how tablets can be used in homeschooling, and linking up their posts here for you to learn more.






Friday, November 28, 2014

BLACK FRIDAY LILLA ROSE SALE!!

I am so excited to announce this year's Lilla Rose Black Friday Sale.  



 EVERY ACCESSORY IS ON SALE!!

ALL of them!  Flexi Clips, Hair Sticks, You-Pins, even the newest members of the family, the Badge Clips. 

ALL ON SALE!!

(Did I mention that part?)


So...how about some specific sales?

ALL 2014 Flexi-of-the-Month Accessories are available (while supplies last), AND at a 20% discount.  Did you miss out on July's Liberty Bow or November's Compass Rose? Here's your second chance, but hurry, because quantities are limited!



And when I say all, I do mean ALL.  December's Flexi - Crimson Joy - is being released early so it can take its place in the sale!


Several Flexis are Retiring!  Don't miss out on your last chance for those.  They're available at a 50% discount, so they'll go fast - don't wait!





Don't forget there is FREE SHIPPING available on all orders over $50!




 But this sale won't last for long.  It ends Sunday, November 30th at Midnight PST, so don't wait. 



Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  See our full disclosure HERE.  Purchases through our site provide Luke with hands-on business experience!

©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://adventureswithjude.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Thankful Nation: The History of Thanksgiving


Luke's American Adventures: The Story of American Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in the United States is a unique national holiday. It honors no group of people, as Presidents’ Day or Memorial Day do, nor does it celebrate a pivotal event in history like Independence Day (July 4th and the signing of the Declaration of Independence) or Patriot’s Day (memorializing the horrific events of September 11, 2001). The fourth Thursday in November is commonly celebrated with families around a groaning dinner table crammed with favorite family dishes and turkey at its center, parades followed by football on TV, and planning Black Friday shopping with the precision of General Eisenhower coordinating Operation Neptune's landings at Normandy. Where did this holiday come from, and how did it grow to such an iconic celebration of Americana?

Colonial America and the Early Republic Years


Native Americans had held ceremonies to give thanks for many occasions: successful harvests, the hope of a good growing season in the early spring, and other good fortunes such as the birth of a child. Giving thanks was, and still is, the primary reason for Native American ceremonies or celebrations. The Pilgrims, the first colonists in New England, were also accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought. In the late fall of 1620, the Pilgrims arrived in America and found themselves horribly unprepared for the New England winter; more than half their party died before spring. After the thaw, they befriended some local natives who taught them how to survive in this new land. 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims shared in the first "American" Thanksgiving,  a three-day feast in the fall of 1621 celebrating friendship and a bountiful harvest.

First Thanksgiving
The First Thanksgiving (1914)
Jennie A. Brownscombe
U.S. Public Domain
 
Days of thankfulness continued during the American Revolution. The Continental Congress issued several proclamations declaring a Day of Thanksgiving, often coinciding with military victories. These were not specifically national celebrations, but generally observed only in the areas local to the battle. In 1789, a newly inaugurated George Washington called for a National Day of Thanks to celebrate both the end of the war and the recent ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Both John Adams and James Madison issued similar proclamations of their own, but fellow Founding Father Thomas Jefferson felt the religious ideals surrounding the event were out of place - the nation had been founded on the separation of church and state, so thanking God for blessings was out of place with a federal holiday. There was no preclusion to local municipalities establishing events, but because of this philosophy, no formal national declarations were issued after 1815.

Sarah Hale


Sarah Hale
Sarah Josepha Hale (c.1831)
James Reid Lambdin
U.S. Public Domain

Much of the credit for the modern Thanksgiving day goes to a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale. A prominent writer (she authored the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb") and newspaper editor, the New Hampshire-born Hale had grown up regularly celebrating an annual Thanksgiving holiday. Hale often wrote editorials and articles about the holiday, and she lobbied state and federal officials to pass legislation creating a fixed, national day of thanks on the last Thursday of November—a unifying measure, she believed that could help ease growing tensions and divisions between the northern and southern parts of the country. Her efforts paid off; by 1854, more than 30 states and territories had a Thanksgiving celebration on the books, but Hale’s vision of a national holiday remained unfulfilled.

The outbreak of the Civil war in April 1861 did little to stop Hale’s efforts to create such a holiday, however. She continued to write editorials on the subject, urging Americans to “put aside sectional feelings and local incidents” and rally around the unifying cause of being thankful for blessings. Though the practice of thanksgiving continued in both the Union and the Confederacy, it was far from Hale’s ideal of a unified event. In 1861 and 1862, Confederate President Jefferson Davis had issued Thanksgiving Day proclamations following Southern victories; United States President Abraham Lincoln himself called for a day of thanks in April 1862 following Union victories at Fort Donelson, Fort Henry, and Shiloh, and again in the summer of 1863 after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Sara Hale's Letter to President Lincoln
Sarah Hale's letter to President Abraham Lincoln
Library of Congress
Shortly after Lincoln’s summer proclamation, Hale wrote to both the president and Secretary of State William Seward, once again urging them to declare a national Thanksgiving, stating that only the chief executive had the power to make the holiday, “permanently, an American custom and institution.” Whether Lincoln was already predisposed to issue such a proclamation before receiving Hale’s letter of September 28 remains unclear by historians. What is certain is that within a week, Seward had drafted Lincoln’s official proclamation fixing the national observance of Thanksgiving on the final Thursday in November, a move the two men hoped would help “heal the wounds of the nation.” After more than three decades of lobbying, Sarah Josepha Hale (and the United States) had a national holiday. Though it still held some religious undertones, it was less of a “God hath blessed us Christians” event from the Pilgrims’ era. With so many families broken by the War, as well as an increasingly industrial society, this new national Thanksgiving was becoming a secular “thankful for family and friends gathered here today” celebration.

The 20th Century and Beyond


Captain and Mrs. Noah
W. Carter and Patricia Merbreier
"Captain and Mrs. Noah"
Philadelphia media icons
and frequent participants in the
Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade
Image Source: Philly.com
If you look at modern calendars, Thanksgiving isn’t always at the end of the month. How did there get to be an extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas some years? In the early 1900s, proud first-generation Americans wanted honor their parents and heritages and recreate the festival-type atmosphere that surrounded the harvest and ushered in the holiday season. The Gimbel family, proprietors of the Gimbels Department Store, established the first Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. It was first held on Thanksgiving Day 1920, and though it has seen several sponsors since the demise of the department store, it remains the longest-running Thanksgiving Day parade in America. (Though it has become the iconic American parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade did not begin until 1924.) The sponsoring merchants were canny -- at the end of the parade, Santa Claus made his first appearance for the year, ushering in the “holiday shopping season.” However, there were five Thursdays in November 1939, with Thanksgiving now falling on November 30, 1939. With only 24 days to shop and an already shaky Great Depression economy, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the fourth Thursday in November, extending the shopping season by a week. While several states followed FDR’s lead, others balked at the blatant consumer twist to a day that focused on family, friends, and a successful year. 16 states refused to honor the calendar shift, leaving the country with dueling Thanksgivings. Despite continued opposition from traditionalists, he moved the 1940 holiday ahead as well, placing it on the third Thursday in November. Faced with opposition from constituents ranging from the average citizen to college football conferences, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution in the fall of 1942 codifying the federal observance of holiday to the fourth Thursday of November. Though some states continued to observe Thanksgiving on the final Thursday of November, by 1956 all states had amended their observances to be in line with the federal holiday. Five out of every seven years, the “fourth” Thursday is also the “last” Thursday, while the remaining two years have a fifth Thursday in the month.


The concept of setting aside time to give thanks for one's blessings is older than the settlement of the North American continent itself. Americans commonly trace the Thanksgiving holiday to a 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the Plymouth settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season. Often called the “Mother of Thanksgiving,” Sara Josepha Hale persuaded President Lincoln and Congress to pass legislation that set the last Thursday in November as an official Thanksgiving Day for the entire nation, rather than a hodgepodge of days set by individual communities. Following further legislation in the 1940s to help the country recover from the Great Depression, Thanksgiving Day is now held on the fourth Thursday in November. While the celebration itself has changed since the Pilgrims’ time - instead of a three-day feast, most families have a one-day gorge timed between parades and football games - the core idea of setting aside a specific to gather together and acknowledge our thankfulness for family, friends, and blessings remains.

I’m thankful for all of you who have been supporting me and reading the Luke’s American Adventures series. Happy Thanksgiving!








©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://adventureswithjude.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Abraham Lincoln Speaks: A New Birth of Freedom

Abraham Lincoln Speaks: A New Birth of Freedom

In the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1–3, 1863, the dead were hastily buried in trench graves in the fields.  A battlefield preservation committee was formed and land was purchased as memorial grounds,  including an area for a National Cemetery.   Reinterment of soldiers from the Gettysburg Battlefield graves began on October 17, with plans to formally consecrate the cemetery the following month.  The committee for the Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg sent President Lincoln an invitation to the event,  "It is the desire that, after the Oration, you, as Chief Executive of the Nation, formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks."(1) He was not the featured speaker - that task was given to Edward Everett - but the committee felt that it was important that the President be invited to the momentous occasion.

On the morning of Thursday, November 19, 1863, Edward Everett delivered his two-hour oration (from memory) on the Battle of Gettysburg and its significance, and the orchestra played a hymn composed for the occasion by B.B. French. Lincoln, the quiet, self-taught man born in Kentucky, then rose to the podium and addressed the crowd of 15,000 people. He spoke for less than two minutes, and his entire speech was only 272 words long. He began:
Gettysburg Address
Less than a year before, Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation. When the Founding Fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence, slaves had been excluded from equality. Lincoln, however, truly meant “all men are created equal,” regardless of race or heritage. In the address, Lincoln states that this battle, and by implication, this war, was about bringing the words of the Declaration into reality.

The essential themes and even some of the language of the Gettysburg Address were not new. In his July 1861 message to Congress, Lincoln had referred to the United States as “a democracy–a government of the people, by the same people.” The radical aspect of the speech, however, began with Lincoln’s assertion that the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, was the true expression of the Founding Fathers’ intentions for their new nation. At that time, many white slave owners had declared themselves to be “true” Americans, pointing to the fact that the Constitution did not prohibit slavery, but according to Lincoln, it was the initial 1776 nation-establishing document, “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” that defined what an American was. In an interpretation that was radical at the time–but is now taken for granted–Lincoln’s historic address redefined the Civil War as a struggle not just for the Union, but also for the principle of human equality.

Lincoln went on:
Gettysburg Address


Lincoln pointed out two things. “We are met on a great battlefield,” on the surface, sounds pretty obvious -- they’re standing on the fields of Gettysburg. However, it wasn’t just soldiers fighting on a distant field. The entire nation was a battlefield, from the public square to the private home where brother pitted himself against brother. Lincoln knew that this this speech was not for just a new collection of stone monuments, but a dedication to the courage of those who died to uphold America’s founding principles.
Gettysburg Address
The Union had won two major victories that year. Lincoln considered it significant that the Union victories at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Vicksburg, Mississippi had both occurred on the same day: July 4, the anniversary of the announcement of the Declaration of Independence. However, Lincoln recognized that the victories had come at a great price. Coming on the heels of Antietam, the bloodiest single day of fighting, Gettysburg was the deadliest battle of the war. In addition, the war wasn’t over yet. Not only did the battles continue, but Lincoln knew that there there would be as much reconciliation once the war was over as there was fighting during it. Even if the Confederacy surrendered that day, there was an entire nation to heal and rebuild. His words were also a call to action - for people to not say, “It’s the Army’s war,” but instead to say “This is our country, this is our war.”

Lincoln concluded:
Gettysburg Address
When Lincoln talked of “a new birth of freedom,” he was making reference to the Founding Fathers and the ideals of “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” that were first stated in the Declaration of Independence. During that initial struggle for freedom from the tyranny of England, it was easy to fight because the oppression was current. While the day was dedicating a cemetery that would contain the bodies of a few hundred, Lincoln was in essence dedicating an entire nation to the thousands who fought for its principles throughout the "four score and seven years."  Those who joined the Army did so because they believed it was a path to a better life, for themselves and their country.  Like today’s soldier, they believed in their country enough to be willing to risk dying for it.   Lincoln wanted people to remember that the nation was fought for, and belonged to, all Americans, not just the ones buried in the fields of Gettysburg.

Throughout the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln reiterates a common theme from his presidency. The nation consisted of the people, was founded by the people, and was intended for the people. While the Founding Fathers set the ideals that the United States was founded upon, slaves were excluded from equality; it was a sad but necessary compromise to attain a unanimous coalition against Britain. However, in his heart, Lincoln believed all men were equal, regardless of race, and this war was fought by men who felt the same. Lincoln knew that the dedication meant more than just honoring the men who died at Gettysburg - part of “the people”, but also honoring their courage to die for their beliefs. He modestly claims, “The world will little note or remember what we say here,” but it is the power of these few words that makes them memorable. A humble upbringing made Lincoln of the people, his words highlighted the sacrifice of the people, and his consolation and call to action are for the people. His words, simply stated so long ago, still call to us to the same resolve today.

(1) Wikipedia, Gettysburg Address.

Abraham Lincoln Speaks:
Part 1:  A House Divided 
Part 2: The President's Job Description
Part 3: Liberty for All?
Part 4: A New Birth of Freedom
Part 5: With Malice Toward None
Part 6: Now He Belongs to the Ages








©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://adventureswithjude.com
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