Monday, May 26, 2014

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. 

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
The Gettysburg Address
Emphasis mine

In memory of the millions of soldiers whose blood we shed in the name of warmaking and warmongering

In memory of those who gave their lives in the name of protecting the ideals held sacred to this day

In memory of all who have died in battle because we are a violent people, prone to death and to destruction

In memory of the warriors who gave not only their physical lives, but their mental and spiritual lives as well

In memory of the veterans who have fallen to a merciless and cutthroat economic system after coming home

In memory of the families whose plights without their loved ones are ignored and overlooked

In memory of my uncle Albert Mouradian, who paid the price of my family's American citizenship with his blood at Okinawa

In memory of the honored dead who gave that last full measure of devotion

We honor you today.

Yours in Christ,

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful in every way -- honoring the lives lost, the bodies wounded, the ideals both upheld and shattered and the hopes of an imperfect people. Thank you Eric