One score and twelve years ago few of our fathers brought forth on this land a new dogma, conceived in enslavement, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are not created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil struggle, testing whether that dogma, or any dogma, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that struggle. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that Iran might one day live in liberty. 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 and women, living and dead, who struggle here in Iran, 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 and still do here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far not achieved. 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 be installed.
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