[November 19, 2013] 150 years ago in the mist of the American Civil War, US President Abraham Lincoln gave one of the best known, most quoted speeches in American history – known today as the “Gettysburg Address.”
President Lincoln is recognized as one of the greatest senior leaders in American history. The Gettysburg address is an example of his leadership, providing a simple, clear vision and with it an emphasis on the good in people.
In the speech, Lincoln redefined the Civil War as one that would witness the rebirth of freedom and the power of the people over the state.
In his visionary speech, Lincoln made citizens aware of their rights and declared the government answerable to the people. He redefined democracy as a consequence of the will of the citizen and not the just the purview of state legislatures.
The Gettysburg address was short and simple – about two minutes long – only ten sentences.
What was not included in the speech is just as important as what was included. Lincoln emphasized healing the country and working toward the ideals laid out in the Declaration of Independence. There was no mention of hatred, vindictiveness, or vengeful judgment.
The speech set the vision for the country at a moment when it needed a guiding hand in a troubled time.
The text of the Gettysburg address that is inscribed on the southern interior of the Lincoln Memorial is here: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Gettysburg_Address_(Lincoln_Memorial)