Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Gettysburg Address

Recently the boys and I read the Gettysburg Address together. Have you ever read it? Really read it? Now this is a powerful document. This gives point to the "Classics, Not Textbooks" from the 7 Keys of Great Teaching. The boys and I had a moving experience as we talked about these powerful words, line by line.

Listen to some of these masterful words.

"...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 the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced...we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion..."

The whole thing is brilliant and gut wrenching. By the time we were done we were all crying. Crying for what's been done for us, crying because we must carry on with where they left off, and crying because we feel so inadequate to protect this passed on freedom. We had read truth that rang into our souls.

From there a two hour long discussion ensued about the Civil War. I narrated to them the great battles and the great heroes and what they had done. I was weaving a story for them. We talked of Joshua Chamberlain, Stonewall Jackson, Harriet Tubman, The Underground Railroad, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E Lee, Jefferson Davis, Fort Sumter, abolitionism, the south and the election of 1860. Every once in a while I'd pull up a picture of someone for them to see and for it to be real. We would look into their extinguished eyes and feel a sense of purpose and a sense of gratitude.

It is in these moments, as I tell them about heroes and history, that the tears fall and the Spirit penetrates that I feel so very blessed to have them by my side all day long and every day.

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