Monday, February 3, 2014

Essay Contest Submission by Hannah Potter - 4th Grade

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

By Hannah Potter, 4th grade

          Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address teaches three important lessons that all Americans today should remember. Those lessons are, first, we need to be treating everybody equally, second, we must value our freedom, and third, we need to be committed to being part of our government.  

“Four score 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.”

          Abraham Lincoln knew that all men are created equal.  And I think so too. Abe Lincoln said that this is a basic idea that this country was built on. People had to start a new country because this was a new and wonderful idea.

          In most schools there are bullies, or people who aren’t very nice to others and hurt them because they may be different. I think that Abraham Lincoln would not approve of bullying because what he fought against was trying not to treat others differently.  Bullies can be very unkind. I heard about some bullies who are starting to use people’s allergies to bully them. One bully was chasing a little boy that has peanut allergies, and the bully had peanut butter all over his hands when he was chasing that little boy. That should never happen in this country.

          The second lesson we have to learn is that we must value our freedom.  Abe Lincoln reminded us that our country was started on that base of liberty and freedom.  Then he said after the war that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom”.

          Many countries don’t have full freedom. For example, I have a little sister from China because people in China can’t have more than one child and their one child is usually a boy.  I’m glad and I feel very lucky that in America we have full freedom, and families the size that we want.  Even China’s internet and television is controlled by the government. Abraham Lincoln wanted us to remember that many people actually died just to protect these freedoms for us. 

“ 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.”

          The final lesson is that we have a task to work on.  We need to be more committed to the cause the soldiers died for.  That cause is government of the people, by the people, and for the people.   We need to pay attention and learn about all the problems and help to fix them. There are a lot of problems, like, drugs, pollution, crime, and poor people.  People who are old enough need to vote and then help the people who get elected solve the problems.  We need to understand how they spend our taxes. We need to support the police and report things if we see something that looks suspicious.  We should always be willing to serve and help others. 

     In conclusion, I have talked about how we need to treat people equally, remember other people’s huge sacrifices for our freedom, and help keep our government working.  These are some of the lessons that Americans today can draw from the Gettysburg Address.

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