On a Speech

One hundred fifty years ago today gave America one of its most famous speeches. Today, it’s 13,607 characters would fit on 11 Twitter messages. Then, even the writer didn’t think much of it in saying “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.”

The setting was war and the dedication of a cemetery for fallen soldiers. Sadly, some people (and I believe the minority) can’t watch the video absent of political bias. A special thanks to Ken Burns, a director and producer of documentaries, for getting all of these people involved.

Because the video is now marked private,

  1. Click here to visit Learn the Address
  2. In the upper right corner, click the video The Address Mashup that displays President Obama.

Here’s also a quick visit to the cemetery.

45 thoughts on “On a Speech

  1. What an amazing collection of people. United we stand.
    I’ve been to Gettysburg. It is humbling to think all those fine young men fighting for what they believed was right and just. Did they have any idea how important – how their efforts would always be honored and remembered?
    (but unsure what you mean by the “political bias” and the video? Who couldn’t be moved by this? It’s all a part of our country’s history and its’ search for perfection/truth. Sorry, great videos/post, but baffled.)


      • Some places I just can’t read comments. You know.
        I figured there was a story – your posts are constructed and as an editor I would have pulled that out as it doesn’t strengthen the writing. So it’s proactive.
        very sad…those people need to go there and walk the grounds- alone. No matter the side, a great loss for all. An a reason to remember.
        Country isn’t perfect, but trying. Brutal language, name calling, race baiting (by both parties and celebrities) are not productive and only divide more bitterly. Pick up the yoke, pull together and move on. It’s the only hope for progress. Well, done, Frank. Well done


  2. Lincoln spoke after another man who rambled on for a few hours. Lincoln’s seech took a few minutes.
    Afterwards, the other man told Lincoln that Lincoln’s speech, and not his own, was the one worth hearing.

    The speech, which most read in papers (including those at the battlefield since there was no amplification) was derided at the time by many news outlets in the North.


    • Guapo,
      Great points. To add to your point about the papers, many at that time were quite political. See the link in Elyse’s comment for an example. Love the FYI about the other speaker!!!!


  3. Ken Burns made such a terrific video of Lincoln’s brilliant speech I can almost overlook the presence of Taylor Swift. Thanks for posting it Frank.

    El Guapo’s right. The Gettysburg address was a very short speech, only 268 words.


      • Actually, I believe it is more like 1,350 characters. Most sources say the speech is 270 or 271 “words” long, depending on the version used, and I believe the convention for average word length is 5 letters. Makes the brevity even more startling, eh? As for significance, Philo said it well. The Tea Party radicals ought to be shamed by Lincoln’s meaning in this speech, but they won’t.


    • Kathy,
      Ah ha … you must be reading it though your Reader that didn’t pick up my edit. 😉 Better yet, it’s characters because the spaces have to be counted. Seeing it on CNN is where I got the idea. By the way, go to the link Hudson Howl provided … it’s awesome!!! … and have a great Ecuadorian day.


  4. ken burns is brilliant. love his “gettysburg” film so much that it inspired me to write a middle grade book about the civil war. and loved his series on baseball. learned a great deal about the game’s history and it gave me a good chance to bond with an elderly friend who also loved baseball. have not seen his world war II film, but i should.


  5. Excellent post, Frank. Seeing those numbers one after another, just made me think of numbered Jews. We are more, so much more than a number. Now heading off to the address…


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