Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 56, March 23

The President was not invited to give the main speech of the day.   In fact, he was invited largely as an afterthought.  It was Edward Everett, known for his oratory skills, who was expected to deliver the primary address.  Everett's seldom-read 13,607-word oration began:
"Standing beneath this serene sky, overlooking these broad fields now reposing from the labors of the waning year, the mighty Alleghenies dimly towering before us, the graves of our brethren beneath our feet, it is with hesitation that I raise my poor voice to break the eloquent silence of God and Nature. But the duty to which you have called me must be performed; — grant me, I pray you, your indulgence and your sympathy."[
Two hours later, he ended
"But they, I am sure, will join us in saying, as we bid farewell to the dust of these martyr-heroes, that wheresoever throughout the civilized world the accounts of this great warfare are read, and down to the latest period of recorded time, in the glorious annals of our common country, there will be no brighter page than that which relates the Battles of Gettysburg."[

1 comment:

  1. After two hours, it's amazing he didn't get a standing ovation. I would have stood, just to stand!