Jonas Salk, the scientist who history credits with curing the scourge of Polio once wrote that, “Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.”
Nowhere is that sage wisdom more relevant than on the fields of Gettysburg — an historic landscape passed down from a previous generation to the next with the notion that we too could learn something from its tragic lessons.
Ken Burns, possibly America’s greatest documentarian once said that it was here, at Gettysburg, that,
We tested the mettle of the United States, whether we were going to live out the true meaning of our creed. It took a Civil War and a president coming back to Gettysburg, the great beginning of our second act in the history of the United States to say ‘we have the possibility of a new birth of freedom, we really do mean that all men are created equal, now watch us.’ And what we watched was the beginning of the American century.
That happened here. Gettysburg mattered then, and it matters today.
In a world fraught with division and fear, places like Gettysburg may matter more so today than ever before.
And it is for that reason, and 51,000 more that it deserves our respect and attention.
Edmund Burke wrote that, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Gettysburg needs us — concerned Americans — to stand guard over her quiet fields. She needs us to speak out when the time comes. Gettysburg needs us to remind the rest of the country that she still matters. She needs us to be good ancestors.
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And let your voice be heard.