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War between the States
The Battle of Gettysburg - Lessons Learned


From the Veterans of Gettysburg...

"Gettysburg has many lessons--- that of national unity, that of economic progress, that of eventual reconciliation. But perhaps the best lesson to learn from any war is how it might have been avoided by a little more good-will, a little more compromise, little more of a liberal attitude of the minds that see only in terms of logical conclusions, the minds to which white is white and black is black, and there is no gray. For us who have grown in wisdom with the years we can see that change is inevitable, that there must also be continuity. We will never reach any point where our national life can afford to remain static."

"Neither can there be any complete break with the past. Between those who see only the need for change and those who resist change, I have come to the conclusion that any nation will be torn asunder if they persist in fighting it out as in the Civil War. At this last day we can see that Gettysburg is a good illustration of irrepressible conflict which exist with those who do not have the patience and imagination to progress thro' compromise."

The Gettysburg Address
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedication 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 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 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.

Abraham Lincoln.
November 19, 1863.


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