Wednesday, November 20, 2013

From the heart of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was a poet! I have been reading a couple of his speeches of late and one can't help but be impressed with the beautiful way he has with words. Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as well as the commemoration of the Gettysburg Address given by Lincoln at that solemn event. He message was brief and eloquent.

PHOTO: Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865), the 16th President of the United States of America.

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.
-- Abraham Lincoln
Nov. 19, 1863

I am not a historian, but I do enjoy books, movies, etc. about historical events. I love the personal stories. When my friend Joan and I had the privilege of visiting the Gettysburg battlefields a couple of years ago we took a tour from a very nice man who had grown up in Gettysburg and was dedicated to sharing its history.  We were delighted with the information he shared with us. For example, he told us that it was a last minute decision to invite the president to speak at the dedication of this cemetery that contained the graves of scores of soldiers who died in battle. President Lincoln honored them with his presence, and since it was upon such quick notice, he wrote his address on the train en route from Washington, DC to Gettysburg.  No speech writers, no teleprompters, but words from the heart of Abraham Lincoln that still touch us deeply 150 years later. Surely he has been a great influence upon our nation, and his influence continues as we remember him and words.
 As mentioned in my last post, my newest quilt pattern is dedicated to Abraham Lincoln and his reputation for honesty. It is called Lincoln's Promise and is now available on my website. I had the pleasure of making it with Pam Buda's fabric line, American Gothic. If you wish to do the same, this fabric is available now at The Fat Quarter Shop, and other places as well. Follow the link to Patchalot Patterns and go to pattern page 2. Hope you like it!