Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

William Ladewig

Blue and gray has changed to black. Bones have gone to dust. Battlefields have become parks. Soldiers have found their way home. Families have cried and tried to move on. In this place a tired and haggard man once stood with a graveyard for an audience. There, with a voice that called out trembling with inspiration and emotion from the carnage that lay before him! A message was delivered to a grieving nation awaiting its leaders’ eulogy for the death of its best and bravest sons Across the singing wires, immortal words carried a message; that life is a fleeting moment in history, that a mini ball recognizes no social strata, and that death is the great equalizer. A tired voice sang out to a struggling nation, saying that although we are battered and shattered we are still fighting the good fight for ideals greater than those found etched in the stones surrounding him, for those are the ideals that hold a country together. That the bloodshed is a bond that will keep this nation united and that these sacrifices will never be in vein. One hundred and fifty years later, all a nation can say is that these words, nor what they did there, will ever be forgotten. The Gettysburg Address will never be mere words. For one nation, our nation, they will be the words upon which this united Nation shall stand! Through storm and strife, Lincoln’s words have guided us and shaped our destiny, reminding us that some things in life are worth making the ultimate sacrifice! A grateful nation both blue and gray, can only say “Thank You,” William G. Ladewig Wyoming Valley, Wisconsin