J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “Gettysburg Address”

Happy Thanksgiving!

The-Civil-War-Thanksgiving1

I would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. Although the holiday has been celebrated since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, it didn’t become a nationally observed holiday until 1863. The last Thursday of November was proclaimed a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863, thus commemorating “a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” It took nearly a century before some cities in the South, such as Vicksburg, Mississippi, finally acknowledged the holiday.

Only a week earlier, on November 19, 1863, President Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg to dedicate a national cemetery that was being established to bury Union soldiers who had met their demise there. After delivering his famous Gettysburg Address, which he considered to be “a few appropriate remarks,” he was overheard saying, “I failed, I failed, and that is about all that can be said about it.” This was because of the poor reception he received following his speech, but little did he know that his words would become one of the most famous addresses in American history.

With that, let us all give thanks for what we are blessed with. Sometimes it is difficult to perceive the blessings we receive, just as Mr. Lincoln failed to perceive the potency of his words at the time. Many have friends and/or family who are dealing with the loss of loved ones or other critical situations in their lives. During this holiday season, please pray for them, as well as our military personnel.

Anniversary of Famous Presidential Speech

LincolnGivingGettysburgAddress

One of the greatest American speeches ever delivered took place on this date in 1863. Following the bloody Battle of Gettysburg on July 1-3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln was invited to participate in dedicating the Soldiers National Cemetery to say “a few appropriate remarks.” After a long, two hour oratory given by Edward Everett, a popular speaker of that time. President Lincoln rose to his feet, stepped to the front of the platform, and began reading. His speech lasted just over two minutes, but it has endured through the ages. Once he was finished reading, the audience responded with only a spattering of applause. Lincoln remarked that his carefully chosen words fell on them like a wet blanket. Little did he know, his speech would become one of the most famous, reverent speeches in this country’s history.

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.

Mississippi State Flag Banned

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Last week, The Los Angeles Times ran a story about a group of attorneys, who announced that they are calling for the removal of the Mississippi state flag from the display at Santa Ana’s Civic Center in Orange County, California. They say that the flag with the “Confederate design symbolizes racism and hatred.” In a statement, the Newport Beach-based Orange County Bar Association remarked that the flag, featuring the Confederate Southern Cross, is a symbol “inextricably linked to a legacy of racism, exclusion, oppression and violence.”

The association passed a resolution to remove the flag from Santa Ana’s Plaza of the Flags, which now features flags from all fifty states. “I am proud of the board of directors for passing this important resolution on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address,” Orange County Bar Association President Wayne Gross said in a statement. According to Gross, the Mississippi flag “has no place in or around courthouses.”

The association tried in 1997 to ban flags, specifically those of Mississippi and Georgia, but were unsuccessful. Since then, Georgia has changed its state flag. Mississippi is the only state left which features the Southern Cross in its design.

For Orange County to take such a step, whether they realize it or not, is discrimination. In 2001, the state of Mississippi voted to keep the design. In fact, two-thirds of the state’s residents chose to keep the Southern Cross. If it doesn’t offend Mississippi voters, who are primarily black, what is the problem with Orange County?

With so many problems surfacing in California over the past decade, why is this even an issue? Don’t they have more important things to worry about? This is similar to the problem that the City of Memphis has been dealing with over the past year. It seems that both cities need to get their priorities straight.

To me, this is yet another blatant example of ignorance on the part of lawmakers and politicians. If they studied their history, they would know that the Confederate flag DOES NOT represent “racism, hatred, exclusion, oppression, and violence.” The Confederate flag represents Southern heritage and pride. One hate group, the Ku Klux Klan, decided to claim the Confederate flag as their own, without permission from such honorable groups as the Sons of Confederate Veterans or the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. It is shameful to associate the KKK with the Confederacy as a whole. The KKK has also used the American flag, which flew over numerous slave ships. Should this, too, be banned?

There comes a point when political correctness has gone too far. This is just another example. If one state’s flag is denied, then various reasons will eventually surface to ban other state’s flags as well. We must not allow this kind of narrow-mindedness to prevail.

(And BTW Mr. Gross, the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address was last November.)

For more information, please visit:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-mississippi-flag-orange-county-civic-center-20131231,0,6800466.story#axzz2pk6g4GWO

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. Although the holiday has been celebrated since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, it didn’t become a nationally observed holiday until 1863. The last Thursday of November was proclaimed a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863, thus commemorating “a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” It took nearly a century before some cities in the South, such as Vicksburg, Mississippi, finally acknowledged the holiday.

Only a week earlier, on November 19, 1863, President Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg to dedicate a national cemetery that was being established to bury Union soldiers who had met their demise there. After delivering his famous Gettysburg Address, which he considered to be “a few appropriate remarks,” he was overheard saying, “I failed, I failed, and that is about all that can be said about it.” This was because of the poor reception he received following his speech, but little did he know that his words would become one of the most famous addresses in American history.

With that, let us all give thanks for what we are blessed with. Sometimes it is difficult to perceive the blessings we receive, just as Mr. Lincoln failed to perceive the potency of his words at the time. Many have friends and/or family who are dealing with the loss of loved ones or other critical situations in their lives. During this holiday season, please pray for them, as well as our military personnel.

The Gettysburg Address

One of the greatest American speeches took place 148 years ago at a small town in Pennsylvania known as Gettysburg. The occasion was the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery, following the bloodiest three days in our history that took place during the Civil War. At the time, both sides believed themselves to be victorious, but by July 4, 1863, it became apparent that the Union had succeeded in defeating the Confederates when General Lee ordered his army to retreat back into Virginia.

The number of casualties was immense: Union losses numbered 23,055 (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, and 5,369 captured or missing). It is believed that Confederate casualties were similar, although the exact number is questionable. Four months after the battle, President Abraham Lincoln was invited to speak, along with Edward Everett, a popular orator of the time. It is rumored that the president wrote his speech on the train ride to Gettysburg, but this has been undocumented. Lincoln’s speech lasted just over two minutes, but it has lasted through the ages, and is as follows:

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.

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