Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Megan McCoy

When you think of The Gettysburg Address, what do you think of… sacrifice, struggle, pain, loss, or even comfort? You read it in class, learn when and where and move on. Never learn the real purpose of the short and sweet speech that took about two-three minutes and only 272 words. This speech got to the point on what “the union” had to achieve. Abe had to say something to the war weary people. Being the lowest point of U.S. history; it needed a fatherly attention to bring the peace back to some of the people. When Abe made his speech he didn’t want to bore people to death, so he made it short, sweet, and influential, and succeeded in doing this. And it was made to get you to think and understand the point he was trying to make. Out of the 45,000 killed, injured, captured, or went missing, only 7,500 were on the 17 acres of pasture a man had to sell. Abe probably knew that this would be in the papers, but not textbooks now. When he was making his speech he made known of what was happening had to be done. He also included in his speech that all men were created equal referring to the Declaration of Independence. He also made people understand that this was not just the dead, but the living… Abe wrote “To be dedicated here to the unfinished work” meaning that they had to move on and get this over with, so we could move on as a nation. And everything was Union centered because in his mind everyone was still the Union. Megan McCoy Fisher High School Fisher, IL