Thousands gathered today at the Civil War battlefield where, 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln gave his most famous speech. The text below is from the hand-written copy he signed and dated. It is on display in the Lincoln Room of the White House.
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.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not 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. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 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.
November 19, 1863
Note: There are 5 known drafts of the speech handwritten by Lincoln himself. They differ slightly from one another, but the one above is considered the authoritative version, because it’s the only one Lincoln signed and dated.
Although President Obama refused to attend the anniversary celebration, he did agree to recite a version of the Gettysburg Address in front of a camera. But he didn’t use the authoritative text. Instead, he used a version known as the “Nicolay copy” … one that does not include “under God.”
This is not the first (or second or third) time Obama has left God out of our history. Three times in the fall of 2010, Obama deliberately misquoted the Declaration of Independence’s passage about inalienable rights, leaving out the words “by the Creator.”
And in November of 2010, he told an audience that the US national motto is “E Pluribus Unum” meaning “Out of Many, One.” As per Congressional decree, the official motto of the United States is “In God We Trust.”
He also leaves God out of Thanksgiving as much as possible. The holiday’s original purpose was to thank God for our blessings and presidents have proclaimed this over and over and over. In President Obama’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation, he made history by leaving God out.
Because of the outcry, his subsequent written proclamations have made prominent mention of God; however, the Thanksgiving addresses he records and posts to YouTube do not. According to him, Thanksgiving is just a time for thanking other people and being generically grateful for our blessings.
Compare versions @ http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2012/11/read-six-different-versions-of-the-gettysburg-address/