John Edward Hempe
Rapid City, South Dakota
Lincoln: The Reunion
This place in South Dakota. It's so far from the great battlefield at Gettysburg. This time, 135 years since the bloody clash. Months after the battle, I wrote a two-minute speech. It somehow became immortal. It ended:
'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 this earth.'
And so it is. The union I so desperately strove to preserve is stronger than ever today. The new birth of freedom exists. I see it in the faces of the people who come here.
For nearly 60 years, I
have rested here in the presence of the noblest men to ever
lead this great nation. I have always been and will always
be humble and proud.