Giffords, Tucsonans recite Gettysburg Address
A Youtube video posted by filmmaker Ken Burns shows former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and a series of Southern Arizonans reciting the Gettysburg Address, delivered 150 years ago by President Abraham Lincoln.
Part of a project — Learn the Address — launched by the documentarian, the video includes Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, outspoken veteran Brian Kolfage, Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim, and Jan. 8 shooting survivor Pam Simon, among others.
Burns is encouraging others to record their own videos of the famous speech; he is uploading videos to the project website. Others who've participated range from every living president to comedians Louis C.K. and Stephen Colbert.
"My favorite U.S. president has always been Abraham Lincoln. He was a problem solver, and he understood how to work with people who didn't see eye to eye with him. I'm proud to celebrate his legacy today — on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Let us all remember his words and make a commitment to a 'government of the people, by the people, for the people,'" Giffords posted on Facebook.
The series of videos grew from Burns' latest project, a documentary on the Greenwood School in Vermont, which encourages its students — who have autism and learning disorders — to learn and recite Lincoln's two-minute speech. The film is scheduled for release in 2014.
The Gettysburg Address
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.