[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, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth." ~ Abraham Lincoln, 1863
"That 'we here highly resolve...' in the midst of a bitter civil war, they came to listen: nearly twenty0-thousand people crowded onto a field in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was November 1863. Only a few months earlier seven thousand Americans had lost their lives on this ground.
"With his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln transformed a field of sorrow and ashes into a place of hope. He understood how precious it was for a nation to rededicate itself, in a war-torn world, to the twin ideals of liberty and equality. Today, those ideals still stand as our twin towers: beacons to guide us as we strive to fashion a world in which all people may freely live their dreams." - James West Davidson, co-author, The American Nation