Volume 4, Part 3

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Abraham Lincoln declared that America’s Founders “… brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal … we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. (…) It is for us … to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us … that we here highly resolve … 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” (Gettysburg Address).

The battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in the American Civil War. The battle is long over but the war for bringing forth a nation, ever new, conceived in Liberty –under Godcontinues.

Why is the Civil War important today? To quote a sage: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" and "… only the dead have seen the end of war" [George Santayana, Spanish-American philosopher and author].

“The four years of the Civil War were the bloodiest in the nation’s history. Some 620,000 soldiers and sailors died in the war … A loss on the same scale today would equal 6 million deaths. Americans fought one another over three fundamental issues: the survival of the Union, the fate of slavery, and the common rights of citizenship – what it means to be an American. The war resolved the first two issues. The nation struggles with the third to this day. Roughly 11,000 men died at the Battle of Gettysburg alone, and another 40,000 were wounded, captured, or missing. These 51,000 casualties equaled about 20 times the population of the small Pennsylvania town” [Gettysburg Military Park, Museum and Visitors Center, Exhibit text].

In this world, freedom takes its toll in blood.

Deacon Joseph B. Gorini, Mechanicsburg PA <///>< [First Published September 8, 2013]

Category: Volume 4

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