By Gary P Jackson
Who are these brave men and women? What sort are they, that they stand on a hill and proclaim no one will harm you on their watch? These brave men and women who, when in battle, will give their last full measure of devotion so that we may live in comfort, never knowing the sting of battle. These heroes who charge the hill, put themselves in peril, so that others may live. These heroes that put themselves in harms way to come to the aid of their comrades in arms, willingly sacrificing themselves so that others may live.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends ~ John 15:13
We are blessed as a people, and a nation, to have the finest military and the best people the world has ever known. Brave men and women who volunteer to stand on that wall, and say to us: “No one will harm you on our watch.”
Today we honor those who paid for our Liberty and continued Freedom with their lives, the most precious thing they had to offer America and her people.
Every day is a day to honor the brave men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces. You should never miss an opportunity to thank a member of our military for their service and sacrifice. Today however, after a weekend of picnics, BBQs, and auto racing, is a day set aside to honor the dead. To honor those who died in service to you and I. To honor those who loved this country, and her people, so much.
Today is also a day to hold the families of the fallen in our hearts. The mothers and fathers, wifes and husbands, sons and daughters, as well as beloved friends, who will never see their loved ones again. Say a prayer for these brave souls as well.
Who are these brave men and women? They are the very best among us. May God bless their souls always and forever.
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.
November 19, 1863