Prompt 78: Rewriting history

“Rewrite the Gettysburg Address for today’s audience”

Note: I have to say first and foremost that this felt wrong to do…Lincoln was so eloquent in the words he chose for this speech, and English seems to have been made much baser since then. See original below.

Forty seven years ago, our ancestors established here a new country based on Liberty and the understanding that everyone is equal. 

Now we are fighting a civil war, putting our great country to the test. We face each other on this battlefield of the war. We are here to dedicate a piece of this field as a final resting place for those that gave their lives for their country. It is appropriate and necessary that we do this.

But, in the grand scheme of things, we cannot dedicate—we cannot praise—we cannot sanctify—this land. The brave soldiers, present and passed, who fought here, are the ones that have consecrated it, and we cannot add or detract from that. The world won’t pay attention to what we say here, but it won’t forget what they did. It is our job to focus on the unfinished business that these soldiers started. It is our job to push forward on the great task ahead—that we become more committed to our cause in honour of those passed—that we proudly acknowledge that they did not die in vain—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall prevail.

Original text by Abraham Lincoln below: 

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.”

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

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