Abraham Lincoln is as much a part of the United States of America and its history as are the Statue of Liberty and the Stars & Stripes. Born in 1809, this sixteenth President of the United States, was assassinated in office and died on April 15, 1865 at the age of fifty-five.
Lincoln's life was arduous and full of failure and defeat. He struggled for a living and a learning. He was defeated multiple times in bids to become a member of the legislature, failed in business and had to declare bankruptcy, suffered through the death of his fiancée, spent six months bedridden from a nervous breakdown, was defeated for Congress multiple times, defeated in bids to become a Senator three times and was even defeated for the Vice-Presidency. Yet, he never quit pursuing his dreams and was elected to one of the most prestigious political offices in the world, President of the United States of America in 1860.
Without a doubt, Lincoln was as fired in the flames of life as anyone could be. His unrelenting spirit and character earned him a place of nobility among all Americans, nay, among all human beings and helped save and forge a nation. That character, that presence, gave birth to one of the most famous and enduring literary works of all time, the Gettysburg Address, delivered on November 19th 1863, just a year and a half before his death.
"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal."
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here, 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 can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died 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."