The film (which aired last night on PBS) is a great story of young men with learning disabilities at a school that uses the Gettysburg Address as a tool to help students overcome their sometimes debilitating challenges. To recite such a complicated speech in front of the entire school is a monumental feat for anyone, but watching these young men battle against their challenges to conquer these words is quite heartwarming.
The film is certainly worth a watch, but the speech itself is an entirely unique experience and a phenomenal work of art. Reading these words, one can't help but feel Lincoln's passion for our country's potential.
In his writing, Lincoln exposes a responsibility in us all. At a time when the country is torn in two, he mentions just one nation and reminds us that we were founded and are united by an ideal of equality for everybody. Very relevant today.
If this reminder isn't enough, he uses his very purpose for giving the speech - to dedicate a cemetery to the enormous number of dead from the Battle at Gettysburg - to put the responsibility on us. Men and women are willing to sacrifice themselves to preserve our ideals, but that does not absolve us from always working to perfect our country. If we are not forever moving towards the utopia of our ideals, their death, their suffering is in vain.
For us today, this responsibility is as alive as ever. Hearing these powerful words, we should take them with us into our community where our ideals are not yet met. If men and women are willing to die to protect our nation, are we willing to create one of justice, freedom, and equality for all?
Comment with your thoughts!