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Famous Speeches: Abraham Lincoln's

Gettysburg Address
By Adapted by Newsela staff on 03.29.16
Word Count 351
Level 600L

President Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, at the dedication of the National
Cemetery of Gettysburg in 1863. David Bachrach/Library of Congress

Editor's Note: In November 1863, President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech. The
speech was meant to dedicate a cemetery. It became known as the Gettysburg
Address. It was given on one of the bloodiest battlefields of the Civil War. The
Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was fought there. Around 50,000 Americans
were killed or injured.

Eighty-seven years ago, our Founding Fathers created a new country on this land.
The country was born out of freedoms. We fought for these freedoms. The country
was dedicated to the idea that all men are created equal.

Now, this nation is fighting an awful war. The fighting between the North and the
South is a test. It is testing whether this nation, or any nation like us, can last.
Today, we stand on one of the great battlefields of this war. We have come to

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dedicate a part of this field. We dedicate it to the soldiers. This battlefield is a final
resting place for the soldiers who gave their lives here. They died so this nation
might continue to live. It is right for us to honor them.

In a way, though, we cannot call these grounds holy or divine. Brave men fought
here. Some of them lived. Some of them died. Those who struggled here have
already made this land holy. These soldiers did much more than we are able to do
today.

The world will not write or talk much about what we say here. The world will not
remember what we said for long. However, the world can never forget what these
soldiers did here.

It is us, the living, who are called here. We are called to finish the work which our
soldiers have begun. For these honored dead we must become even more devoted
to the cause that they died for.

We must continue their mission. Otherwise, these men will have died for nothing.
We must decide that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. We
must decide that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, will
not disappear from the earth.

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