[07 Nov 2007 Wednesday]
10:39 AM - Norfolk, VA
She's one of the most amazing and profoundly intelligent professors I've met in my time at ODU. One of those women who seems to have complete control over herself and her environment. But today, while giving an example of what our rhetoric speeches ought to be like... she cried.
As she delivered the Gettysburg Address, she got to the end...
"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. "
...and tried really hard not to but she cried. It was probably for her husband who is a psychiatric doctor overseas right now caring for soldiers. She could also have been crying for the soldiers all over the world who have died in an effort to preserve the concept of a Nation, and the concept of right.
It's also possible that she was crying simply because the Gettysburg Address is still eerily relevant during today's war on terror. Whatever her reasoning was, she really got to me. And made me wonder why more people don't connect things in the past with the events of today.
History isn't an episodic time line of individual events. It's a continuous flow of events that blend from on into the other.
There is a reason why people say that history repeats itself.
While we may not be involved in a literal civil war, all the bi-partisan bickering that's going on and undermining our efforts overseas might as well equate to a civil war. The whole country should pause, take two steps back and really look at what we're doing. There are a lot of men who are "hallowing" a lot of ground out there right now... and we really ought to do something about that.
Abraham Lincoln November 19th, 1863
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 battle-field 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.