Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Abe Had It Right

I chose the quote, "Government of the People, by the people, for the people" as the working title for my website because I feel strongly that Abraham Lincoln got it right at Gettysburg 145 years ago. Government should serve the will of the people, and not the people serving government. And those words still ring true today.

In a sense, Dunwoody has gained its freedom from DeKalb County and our soon-to-be elected officials must prove that we are worthy guardians of the new city. Our decisions must not be made in haste or in short-sightedness. They must be evenhanded. And we must serve the majority and not just the special interest groups.

There are lawyers, doctors and ex-military officers running for office in the new city. And all offer our citizens unique talents. While my job as a real estate consultant makes me acutely aware of what drives property values in our city, and gives me great insight on how to keep our area one of the most desirable in the metro area, I believe my biggest asset as a councilman will be a keen sense of fairness. Doing the right thing. It's something my parents instilled upon me as a child and is reinforced weekly, if not daily, as a proud member of the Knights of Christopher Columbus. I believe it is a quality that made Abraham Lincoln our greatest president.

What follows is the greatest speech that the greatest president ever made. It took place on November 19, 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:

"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."

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