Chaff Launch

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon 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 here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it 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 can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. 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 here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. - Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
No Sunday Ship History this weekend. This post is the same as I ran last year, but let me add this: Gettysburg has been followed by a thousand other battlefields in North Africa, the North Atlantic, the South Pacific, the North Pacific, the sky over Germany, Japan, the Marianas, Vietnam, Iraq, and on Europe's soil and hundreds of mile at sea. The "government of the people" still stands.



UPDATE: A reminder from a reader that it's not just the warriors we should remember:
Standing nearby is a replica of Sydney’s hull serving as a stele or grave marker and looking out to sea is the bronze figure of a waiting woman (holding her hat against the sea breeze), representing the women who were left behind, waiting in vain for those who would never return. Through her, visitors can feel the pain of the loss felt by so many.

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