Two score and seven years ago, a black preacher brought forth upon this continent the profound dream of a new and better nation conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are riven with great civil strife, testing whether that dream, or any dream so conceived and so dedicated, can become real and endure. Some will meet at a great symbol of that dream, there to personify the very antithesis of the dreamer and the man the symbol honors. They and the speakers they honor seek to inter in a final resting place the ideals that Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln championed for this nation. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should denounce such hateful views, even as we defend forever their First Amendment right to express them.
But in a larger sense, they cannot desecrate, they cannot dishonor, this ground. Those who fought to preserve the union and free its slaves have consecrated it far beyond the haters' poor power to subtract or demean.
The rest of the world will little note, nor long remember, what the haters say here, but Americans should never forget the sacrilege they commit here.
It is for us the rational Americans to be dedicated to the unfinished work which he who spoke here, and he who is honored here, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored men we take increased devotion to the cause for which they stood -- that we here highly resolve that they shall not have spoken in vain -- that this nation shall one day have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
That one day, the sons of slaves and the sons of free men, shall sit down together at the table of brotherhood. . . .
Save the Dream. Honor the Dream. Heed the Dreamer.