LOS ANGELES — Today marks the 209th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States who, among many other accomplishments that now belong to the ages, gave one of the most memorable speeches of all time, the Gettysburg Address, in just 10 sentences and 272 words. In PragerU’s newest video, How Lincoln Changed the World in Two Minutes, professor at U.S. Army War College, Colonel Doug Douds rallies Americans to rise to Lincoln’s challenge in the Gettysburg Address.
On Nov. 19, 1863, Lincoln delivered the iconic address while dedicating a national military cemetery to the fallen on both sides of the Civil War – Union and Confederate – at the Battle of Gettysburg. Gettysburg marked one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War with over 51,000 Americans killed, wounded, captured or missing.
Douds reflects on how Lincoln summarized the American project by stating the country was originally “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Lincoln’s speech stirred American patriotism because no other nation had been founded on such lofty ideals. Lincoln described the Civil War as a test to see if America, “or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, [could] long endure.”
Douds contends Lincoln had a deeper purpose than just celebrating a Union victory. Lincoln recognized Civil War soldiers as “loyal guardians of the American experiment.” In the words of Colonel Douds, “[Their blood] watered the tree of liberty.”
For Colonel Douds, Lincoln’s words are a call to action for all Americans to keep defending the American ideals of freedom and equality.
“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain,” concludes Lincoln. “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.”
America did experience a new birth of freedom following the Union’s victory in the Civil War, which ended slavery and reunified the nation. However, as Lincoln foresaw, the struggle for equality and liberty still continues today.
Now, Douds believes, the “unfinished work” and the “great task remaining” for all Americans is to stay dedicated to the belief that all men “are created equal and that government of, by, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
Is America up to President Lincoln’s challenge?
This video was made in partnership with the Civil War Trust organization. To learn more about all things Gettysburg, visit CivilWar.org
MEDIA NOTE: Please email MediaInquiries@TheKCompany.co to schedule an interview with PragerU contributor, Colonel Doug Douds.
PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. In 2017 alone, PragerU’s videos have received over 625 million views and over 60 percent of the viewers are under the age of 35. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not.