• Leigh Gerstenberger

Less is More...The Gettysburg Address

Updated: Nov 21, 2018


This week, Monday, November 19,th marked the 155th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.  My friend John Tomicki reminded me of this in an email which included an opinion piece authored by Salena Zito from the Washington Examiner.  Three years ago Joe Carter from the Action Institute shared five interesting facts about this iconic speech.

1. The Gettysburg Address was not written on the back of an envelope. Despite the popular legend that Lincoln wrote the speech on the train while traveling to Pennsylvania, he probably wrote about half of it before leaving the White House on November 18.

2. Much of the language and thematic content of the speech had been used by Lincoln before. The radical aspect of the speech http://www.history.com/topics/gettysburg-addresswas Lincoln's assertion that the Declaration of Independence - and not the Constitution - was the true expression of the founding fathers' intentions for their new nation.

3. There are five different versions http://www.virtualgettysburg.com/exhibit/lincoln/feature.html of the speech. The most widely quoted one is the oldest.

4. Now regarded as one of the great speeches of history, the address was initially greeted with criticism by many newspapers. The Democratic Chicago Times called the address http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=519569 "a perversion of history so flagrant that the extended charity cannot regard it as otherwise than willful."

5. "God" is the only proper name mentioned in the speech. The name of the battle is not mentioned.

As I read Zito's essay I was reminded that the big draw at Gettysburg that day was the great orator Edward Everett who preceded President Lincoln on the dais and spoke for two hours.  Lincoln spoke for two minutes and delivered one of the most impactful messages of the modern era...a wonderful example of when less is more.  Please continue reading and reflect with me in quiet gratitude for the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country so that we can live in freedom.



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