Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Dedication to honor US Soldiers

In November of 1863, President Abraham Lincoln gave an address at Gettysburg to consecrate the field of battle and the soldiers who fought and died upon it. He did not single out one side over the other for praise or criticism, as each fought in support of their differing interpretations of the nation's rights and freedoms. Instead, in a nation formerly divided by a bitter conflict, he offered words of humble respect, honoring all those who had fought for their ideals.

In these troubling times over one hundred and forty-two years later, it is easy to lose oneself in the partisan politics that have once again divided this nation. But now the conflict isn't over differing domestic philosophies. Today, the conflict is in foreign lands. Whereas Lincoln's address to honor the soldiers took place upon a field of battle after the winds of war had ceased to blow, the current conflicts of this day and age continue to rage.

Our troops know that our nation is divided over these battles. Our troops need to know that we hold them in our highest regard, in spite of the opposition we may feel toward those who have misappropriated their dedication.

We therefore today offer this renewed dedication to the soldiers who faithfully serve our nation and her people. Together, we look to our leaders for resolution of these ongoing conflicts, conceived and executed behind the auspices of false justice, and which continue unabated, unaddressed, and unresolved.

Until such time as the leaders of this nation take steps to faithfully execute their roles and responsibilities, and demonstrate for our soldiers and fellow countrymen the same dedication that these men and women have shown in the overall performance of their duties, let these words remind our troops that we have not forgotten them.

Dedication to the US Armed Forces

from the People of the United States*

Two hundred and twenty-nine years ago our Founding Fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal. Now we are engaged in foreign battles, initiated upon false premises, testing whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.

The brave souls, living and dead, who have struggled in this time of war remind us of the costs of such folly far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will note and long remember what has been done and the damage we have wrought, and neither it nor we will ever forget.

It is for us, the living, to be re-dedicated to the unfinished work which those who have fought and died believed they nobly pursued.

It is for us, the survivors, to be 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 highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall enjoy the re-birth of freedom, and that this government of the People, by the People, for the People shall not perish from this earth.

*Based upon the Gettysburg Address