We took a much needed and welcomed escape to Gettysburg this past weekend. It is the one place I yearn to visit yearly (sometimes more). It is very sobering to stand, walk, and sit on the ground where so many laid down their memories, dreams for a future, and lives.
As the hour approached for us to leave I was struck with the words of the Gettysburg Address. I leave for you the last few words of Lincoln in the hopes that we may reflect even now in the state of our civil unrest and remember what so many that came before us gave for us to be here, where we are today.
“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.”
We are more than our petty differences and disagreements. We are but a vapor in the events of time. Our aim should always be to leave the ground better than when we arrived, and strive to encourage those after us to do the same, only then will we have progress.