Then and Now – Gettysburg and Beyond

Looking back,I first posted these words here in 2015 after an incident in Baltimore triggered violence and looting. I reposted them two years later, a month after this president took office and thinking about what it means to be American and what is worth fighting for.

Today is the anniversary of those words being said overlooking the battlefields of Gettysburg. Two minutes that sum up what is worth fighting for and why we must continue to fight for what we believe.

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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Today, Poetry

Today at lunch
I wrote a poem about war
and thought
this is what it’s come to
after all these years
of killing.
War again.

That’s not the poem
but it’s what I was thinking.

Someday

Someday, my friends, I will apologize for having filled my social media with scary news stories, abominations of the current world and calls to action, but today is not that day.

Words from Tolkien

Where will wants not, a way opens. — J.R.R. Tolkien

and this perenniel beacon:

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule. – J.R.R. Tolkien

and my oft-quoted:

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.

History Redux

It’s hard not to have flashbacks to the days of hearings re Agnew and Nixon in the Watergate days.

For those who weren’t alive then, it was riveting and scary and comforting, the later because it seemed without much doubt that the system would stand to undo the wrongs that were being revealed.

That’s what we need most now – reassurance that this “bull in a china shop” as he was recently described will not undo this experiment in democracy. That the government will stand and not stand for those who would undo it.

Haiku Day – Round Two

@realDonaldTrump •
we have to hold YOU to Truth •
not the media.
#RESIST #IMPEACH #Haikuday #NaPoWriMo #haiku

@realDonaldTrump
your lies are so thick and sad
they rate a haiku

@realdonaldtrump:
a kind universe has made
you five syllables.

Proactive vs Reactive

When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? — Eleanor Roosevelt