Today Barack Obama became the first black American to be voted in as the 44th President of the United States. I cannot express how proud I feel at this moment to be alive to witness this historic event, and even more proud that I am an American. Although I hold to a conservative world view and did not vote for Senator Obama, I am nonetheless still very proud to be an American today.
I cannot shake the profound sense of history that I feel at this moment. My wife called me as I was at church teaching a theology course. We all stopped and prayed for President Obama, that he would seek God’s counsel, and that God would guide him in all matters.
As President Lincoln so proudly declared at the Gettysberg address, I echo that as well, today marks a “new birth of freedom!” As historian Willam Bennett writes in his book “America – The last best hope” speaking of President Lincoln “If all men are not created equal, then they have no God-given right to freedom and no claim to self-goverment. For Lincoln, this was axiomatic.”
I’ll end with a reminder of the price that President Lincoln paid with his life, and not just his but all of the brave men that fought and laided down their lives for such a day as this.
President Abraham Lincoln – Thursday, November 19, 1863
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.