Editor of the Reformer,
I was reminded that President Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, on the occasion of another event which saved our democracy. I thought his words, with a few changes, were appropriate for today.
Twelve score and four years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal. Now we are immersed in a great election, the fundamental test of whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are engaged in the peaceful transfer of power, the defining democratic ritual for all those who committed 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 moment. The brave people, living and dead, soldiers and civilians who struggled for democracy and civil rights, 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 will never forget what we do now. It is for us the citizens to be dedicated now to the unfinished work which they who campaigned for their beliefs have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be now dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored candidates we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these public servants shall not have lived 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.