Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Rachael Ingram

Seven and a half scores ago, Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the greatest and most famous speeches of all time. The Gettysburg Address was given on November 19, 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania at the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery. The cemetery was the place where thousands of Union soldiers were buried after the bloody battle at Gettysburg during the Civil War. The cemetery was dedicated to the soldiers to honor their sacrifices that they made while fighting in the war. The soldiers were fighting to create a free and equal nation for the people. They sacrificed their lives in order to make the nation become united as one. For Lincoln, speaking after the two hour-long speech given by former US Senator Edward Everrett presented a great task. Since Lincoln was not originally asked to speak at the cemetery dedication, he did not have much time to prepare his speech. His two-minute, 272 word speech ended up becoming one of the greatest speeches of all time. At first, Lincoln’s speech was deemed “terrible” and “pointless”. Many people believed that his speech has no meaning to the people. Then after the 100th anniversary of his speech, attention was brought to it and it is now remembered for it’s “momentous importance, timeless eloquence and lasting significance.” Throughout Lincoln’s speech, he emphasized that the nation needs to remain united as one in order to become stronger. The soldiers fought to gain our freedom and national unity, so we should continue to protect what they gave us. To do this, everybody needs to play his or her role in today’s society to keep the nation united.