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TIMELY MATTERS: Words that still matter — Lincoln's address

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“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

— John Stuart Mill, “Principles of Political Economy,” 1848

On the eve of Nov. 19, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa., President Abraham Lincoln wrote: “The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did … ”

Our 16th president humbly underestimated the power of his address honoring the men who had fought and died to preserve the Union in the Battle of Gettysburg. Edward Everett Horton was the chief speaker that day and spoke for two hours. Lincoln’s speech lasted two minutes, consisted of 272 words, and is known as one of the great speeches ever........

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