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We Must Remember: 150th Anniversary of The Battle of Gettysburg

This year, 2013, is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.  If you have never been to the battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, this would be the year to plan for it.  There will be a live re-enactment of the battle with 15,000 participants taking the parts of both Union and Confederate units.  For example, Pickett's charge that came very close to winning the day for the Confederate side will be re-enacted.  This was the last full-on, Napoleonic charge in history and one of the bloodiest.

This battle would prove to be the turning point in the war.  The Confederate troops under Robert E. Lee had invaded the North and if they had succeeded there at Gettysburg, our national history would have been very different.  

If you would like to learn a bit about it, there are some excellent novels that will give a sense of the epic nature of this particular battle in the civil war. Jeff Shaara's "Gods and Generals" is one of the best.  It is the middle book in a three part series of novels by Shaara and his son.   This one deals entirely with the battle at Gettysburg.  You won't be able to put it down.  I am including below a link to a film on YouTube that was produced by the History Channel.  I am also including the Gettysburg Address.  This famous speech is short, but its words defined the nation better than anything before it or since.  Its meaning may even have greater importance for us today.  Read it and reflect on it this coming 4th of July weekend, the 150th anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg.

The Gettysburg Address:

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.

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