Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Susan Sommer

Seven score and ten years ago Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address. My forefather, David H. Lindsay, fought in the terrible Gettysburg battle. He was with an artillery unit in the Peach Orchard. He was a sixteen year old farm boy who had lied about his age so he could join the army. He couldn't read or write! He was an ordinary boy, but he fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. He fought in the cornfield at Antietam! He fought at Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville! He struggled through the "mud march." He believed that "all men are created equal". So, he was willing to endure the atrocities of war, and the loss of his hearing, to test whether that government "of the people, by the people and for the people" could long endure. If he were here today, I think he would say, "It has; it has endured"! After the war he went back to Pennsylvania. He raised nine children and lived to be ninety one years old. He returned to Gettysburg for reunions and to remember the day he shook hands with President Lincoln! (His proudest moment!) He honored fellow soldiers in their final resting place who gave their "last full measure" of devotion. His name is in bronze on that battlefield! That government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" has not perished from the earth! It has endured!!! Lincoln's wonderful words will continue to inspire ordinary men to do extraordinary things to preserve our government, just as they did at Gettysburg!! I'm so proud of my forefather and the part he played in preserving our government! He is buried in a veterans plot in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania with a plain, simple marker. But, to me, he is an extraordinary man! Why would anyone want to eliminate this government that so many have fought and died to preserve?