Now we are engaged in a great civil debate, testing whether that system, or any system so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great platform of that debate. We have come to dedicate a portion of that platform, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that system might change. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we can not hollow — this platform. The brave people, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or retract. The world will note, and long remember what we say here, and it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, too, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is now for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from all honored dead we take increased devotion to the causes for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that the dead will never die in vain — that this system, with empathy, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that system of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the universe.