By Betsy Thorpe
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 battle-field 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 can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not 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 on Nov. 19, 1863
It was reported last week that President-elect Obama plans to design his inaugural speech after President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.It will not be known until Tuesday if that report is accurate, however the possibility that Lincoln’s address might be the model for Obama’s speech was an exciting thought for Dr. Palace Pillow-McCuthen of Nashville.
In 1954 Dr. Pillow-McCuthen graduated eighth grade at Perry Hill Elementary in Columbia Tennessee, a segregated country school where one teacher,Miss Hathcett taught all subjects and grades. Palace Pillow, the graduating class Salutatorian was assigned to recite the Gettysburg Address during the commencement ceremony. The young student committed the address to memory and throughout her life she has relied on it’s hopeful message “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.”
Today Dr. Palace Pillow- McCuthen holds several degrees, including a Doctorate in Psycho-Therapy from the University of Illinois and on Saturday January 17th 2009 she arrived in Washington to attend the events surrounding the inauguration of Barack Obama as the forty fourth President of a nation that was “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”.