Monday, February 3, 2014

Essay Contest Submission By Abby Knudsen - 7th Grade

"What lessons should Americans today draw from the Gettysburg Address?"

By Abby Knudsen - 7th grade

          Four score and seventy years ago Abraham Lincoln gave one of the most famous speeches in US history. There are many things we can learn from this speech: Lincoln’s humility, his view on the war, and some information about the Battle of Gettysburg.

We learn about Lincoln’s humility from the Gettysburg Address. He wasn’t speaking so everyone would think he was so intelligent and so great because he was president. He recognized that his speech was not as important as the soldiers that died and the battle that happened where he was speaking. He quotes, “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.” That shows how much Lincoln cared about the lives of the deceased soldiers.

          Lincoln was a humble man and that is an extremely important characteristic to have in a leader. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines humility as “The quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people”. If a leader doesn’t have humility they are full of conceit and pride. They will try to take and obtain more power and abuse it and that can result in a lot of bad things. So, in modern day we can learn that it is very important for our leaders to have humility.

          By reading the Gettysburg Address, you can also perceive Lincoln’s view of slavery. In the beginning he says that our forefathers came to America and they said that everyone was created equal. We can tell that Lincoln is against slavery because he says that everyone is created equal and slaves are not being treated equally.

          From the speech we can learn a few things about the Battle of Gettysburg. Lincoln says “We are met on a great battle-field of that war” From that small section, you can tell that Lincoln will probably be speaking about the battle. He also quotes “The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here” and from that you can tell that it was probably a bloody battle because he said that some of the soldiers died and that it must have been a tough battle because he said that the brave men struggled. Finally he says, “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” From this quote from the speech we can tell that they fought hard because he says they gave the last full measure of devotion and they have not died in vain.

          There are many things that we can learn and should remember from reading the Gettysburg address: Lincoln’s humility, his view on the war, and a few facts about the Battle of Gettysburg. I’m glad that we are able to look back in history and learn from Lincoln’s wise words.  

1 comment:

  1. I am in aww that a seventh grader can understand the concept of humility. Very well written. D. Raynock.