Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Jon Brake

Even though President Abraham Lincoln considered it one of his poorest speeches, the Gettysburg Address has become one of most powerful and moving speeches in American history. After all, he wrote it on the train to Gettysburg as he was traveling there to dedicate a cemetery to the men who fought there in the American Civil War. He didn't spend a whole lot of time on it, but what he said in those close to two minutes was very profound and changed the world forever. Why dedicate a cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania? The three-day Battle of Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. More than 45,000 men were killed, injured, captured or went missing. Of those 45,000 men only around 7,500 were actually buried. This battle was also the turning point of the war when Confederate General Robert E. Lee was defeated and realized that a successful invasion of the North was not possible. This is why a cemetery was dedicated. "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can neyer forget what they did here." Lincoln is saying that giving their lives for freedom was more important than anything else. He is also saying that we should not take what they did for granted. Freedom isn't free and these brave men paid the ultimate price for freedom and the preservation of the Union. The Civil War was necessary to uphold and sustain our government which was built on the principles of democracy and freedom. The words of this most famous speech have inspired Americans for generations and will no doubt inspire Americans forever. Jon Brake Fisher High School Fisher, IL