One score and 13 years ago a visit to Gettysburg brought forth upon my future a love of Lincoln, conceived in the yearning to inspire my students and dedicated to the proposition that all children should learn about his famous address.
Now, many years later, I am still engaged in the daily instruction of the Gettysburg Address, testing whether my efforts to make learning this great speech fun, interesting, and relevant for my students will long endure. We are met in Venice Heights Elementary School. We come daily to recite Lincoln’s address as a tribute to his momentous speech of so long ago. It is exciting and important for us to do so.
But in a larger sense, we cannot just read, we cannot merely memorize, we cannot only recite these words. We must continue to host Lincoln presenters, read Lincoln and Gettysburg Address books, rap the Lincoln Rap, hold fundraisers for our many Lincoln and Gettysburg activities, organize Abraham Lincoln parent programs, narrate Lincoln tribute slideshows, sing Lincoln songs, visit Lincoln sites online and try daily to be more like Lincoln. The Lincoln community will not long remember what is written here but they will never forget what a new generation of Gettysburg Address enthusiasts have accomplished here. It is for us, as adults rather, to be dedicated to encourage these new Lincoln lovers to continue learning about what we so deeply care - it is rather for us to be dedicated to educate and encourage others so Lincoln’s Gettysburg message, learned by my students, will not be in vain – that in our country we all should be equal and free.