Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, following the the two-hour speech by Edward Everett, President Abraham Lincoln gave short, yet profound address:
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 battlefield 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 cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot 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.
Ironically, everyone was not enamored with Lincoln’s brief speech. The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania did not like the speech. In an editorial published a week after the speech on Tuesday, November 24, 1863, The Patriot-News editorial board added the following paragraph about the ceremony:
On November 14, 2013, almost 150 years later, The Patriot-News published a retraction to their editorial: