“The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” –Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address – November 19, 1863
The above quote really touched me today as I was able to visit the battle ground of one of the biggest and bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln gave this famous speech in Gettysburg just months after thousands gave their lives to uphold the Founding Fathers’ vision, which established a nation that was dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. They were fighting for the rights of all men to be equal, to be free, and to be happy. Gettysburg was beautiful, and although it rained all day, the leaves were changing and it was an incredible place to see where people sacrificed so much.
Over the weeks that I have been out in Washington D.C, I have thought a lot about those freedoms that the Constitution of the United States allows us to have and exercise every single day. I have been able to see these rights in actions, and see how blessed we are as citizens of the United States, because many people are still fighting for these basic human rights and liberties all around the world. In the various locations I have visited there have been countless people who gave their lives and sacrificed so much to defend and protect our freedoms. It has been humbling to stand where President Lincoln stood when he gave this address, to see the grave sites in Gettysburg and in Arlington National Cemetery, to see the battle grounds in Valley Forge, pieces of the Berlin Wall in a museum, and to stand in the rooms of great importance in the United States Capitol, White House, and Independence Hall – where the Constitution was signed so many years ago.
Just like Abraham Lincoln said, I hope I never forget these sacrifices that were made and that I can continue to learn about those sacrifices and those sacrifices that are still happening today. The little experiences I am having here are impacting my life in small but changing ways. My mind is constantly being pushed to think in new ways, and I am challenged call the time. Ultimately, I’m just very grateful to be here and can’t wait to see what the next weeks bring.