On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln rode in a carriage to the site of the Battle of Gettysburg to deliver a speech. He was invited as an afterthought to deliver appropriate words to consecrate the battlefield.
The speaker before him, Edward Everett, spoke for more than two hours before Lincoln ever took to the crowd’s attention. In a time of national chaos, for fifteen minutes and packaged in 272 words, Abraham Lincoln managed to deliver a message to act like a buffer, a memory lapse of anger, a remembrance of brotherhood that Americans had long forgotten in their selfishness. In fact, there’s only one blurry picture of Lincoln giving this speech because the photographer thought he had more time.
Nobody remembers a word Everett spoke. May our words be few, may our actions be a light, and may our hearts be a holder of that light.
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