Today, since it’s Memorial Day weekend, Craig and I decided to drive to Gettysburg, PA and do a little reenacting. Or ghost whispering. You know, all those cool things one can do when trampling over Civil War battlefields. For the most part, I hurled my body in front of cannons and offended the tourists walking by. That said, Gettysburg is really beautiful. The hills and fields where the battle was fought are really calm and beautiful. It’s so sad to imagine the 11,000+ men who lost their lives there.
Of course to me, one of the most important things that came from Gettysburg is the Gettysburg address. As a writer type, I have always appreciated the power of the pen over the sword and I think Honest Abe’s amazing address embodies that belief. Craig and I took a tour of the David Wills house in the town of Gettysburg where Lincoln slept the night before he delivered his speech. It was also where he finished writing the famous address. It felt really amazing to stand in the room where he finalized it. I was waiting for some sort of literary genius to be passed on to me, but you know, just being in the same quarters was good enough. Lincoln actually started his speech at the White House, where I have been as a tourist and for work a few times, but you tend to forget that kind of thing when you’re there.
So during this memorial weekend, I want to say thanks to honest Abe (and the folks that keep his memory alive) for writing what I think is the greatest speech about war – and peace – in only ten short sentences.