Why my late, great uncle loved the Gettysburg Address

My late great Uncle Joaquin was a judge, college professor, an attorney and a big fan of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.   

He was a young boy when Cuba became independent in 1902. 

Like so many of his generation, he was born in the island when it was a Spanish colony, saw the US occupation (1898-1902) and then cheered May 20, 1902 when it became an independent nation.  I can recall some of his stories about Cuban flags flying and people celebrating the moment.

My guess is that he'd really enjoy the upcoming Ken Burns' documentary on the speech.

He would also have a hard time understanding President Obama's absence for the 150th anniversary. 

My great uncle would ask:   "What else is more important"?

In fact, he was such a fan that my brother and I got to sit at his home study and hear him recite it in English & Spanish. 

We were too young back in Cuba to appreciate his message.  It took me a while, and relocation to this wonderful country, to understand it and to love each and every word.

Here it is.  I can still hear my great uncle reciting it and telling me that it was the greatest speech ever delivered:

"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 can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not 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."

My late great uncle would have loved this post!

 

P. S. You can hear Frank Burke read the speech here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


My late great Uncle Joaquin was a judge, college professor, an attorney and a big fan of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.   

He was a young boy when Cuba became independent in 1902. 

Like so many of his generation, he was born in the island when it was a Spanish colony, saw the US occupation (1898-1902) and then cheered May 20, 1902 when it became an independent nation.  I can recall some of his stories about Cuban flags flying and people celebrating the moment.

My guess is that he'd really enjoy the upcoming Ken Burns' documentary on the speech.

He would also have a hard time understanding President Obama's absence for the 150th anniversary. 

My great uncle would ask:   "What else is more important"?

In fact, he was such a fan that my brother and I got to sit at his home study and hear him recite it in English & Spanish. 

We were too young back in Cuba to appreciate his message.  It took me a while, and relocation to this wonderful country, to understand it and to love each and every word.

Here it is.  I can still hear my great uncle reciting it and telling me that it was the greatest speech ever delivered:

"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 can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not 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."

My late great uncle would have loved this post!

 

P. S. You can hear Frank Burke read the speech here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


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