Monday, February 3, 2014

Essay Contest Submission by Eric Patterson - 8th Grade

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

By Eric Patterson - 8th Grade

          On November 19, 1863, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, a very important man delivered a short speech. A long and bloody battle had just  taken place, and this man was dedicating the land as a resting place for all those whose lives had been taken in their brave work. This speech, which was soon recognized as the Gettysburg Address, was delivered by President Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War. There are many valuable lessons that Americans today can draw from the Gettysburg  Address.

          Those who were fighting at Gettysburg and in the Civil War were fighting for their liberty. President Lincoln stated that we should be "dedicated to the great task" of protecting the liberty of Americans. It is our duty as American citizens to ensure that the people of future generations have those liberties which they are entitled to. Many have died before us to protect our liberties, and we should do the same for our posterity. This message from the Gettysburg Address is very important to our lives.

          The government of the United States is of the people, by the people, and for the people. In his Address, President Lincoln stated that Americans are to ensure that such government "shall not perish from the earth. The men who fought at Gettysburg were fighting for this cause. Some people in the modern world try to bring the American type of government down. As the American people, we need to protect our government and country from these people, otherwise the efforts of our ancestors would be in vain.

          Bravery is knowing full well the dangers and problems with the road ahead, and still choosing to take it. It is being afraid and conquering that fear to pursue the final goal. The brave men of the Civil War exercised their bravery to a great extent, and we should not take such actions for granted. Calling forth bravery for a cause that may be defeated is a great act that has allowed us to live the way we do. We should be grateful for the bravery of our ancestors and all those who are protecting us today.

          Veterans and those in active service have always fulfilled to the greatest possible extent their duty to protect liberty and American life. These courageous men and women are the biggest reason we are still here today. As we go through our daily lives, we do things which seem normal, indeed, we may feel as though we don't have enough. We need to think differently, and remember our military forces that are battling everyday to keep our freedoms and extend them to as many as possible. We need to realize that we are very privileged and have great things.

          The battle of Gettysburg and the address delivered there may seem to have no application to our modern life. This is a false notion; the actions taken and words spoken there state some of our missions as American citizens. We need to protect our way of life, which includes liberty and government of the people. All Americans should thank those who are brave enough to fight for our rights and lives. If all people follow these lessons, this nation will prosper forever.      

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