Read the Gettysburg Address on February 12th at 1:30

In late January I got the following email from Bill Edminster, Assistant Director of the McHenry Public Library District:

“I’m writing on behalf of the McHenry County Librarians group, which represents all the libraries that serve McHenry County.

“I hope that you will join us in our county-wide program for a simultaneous reading of the Gettysburg Address on February 12, 2009.”

The text of our press release follows:

“February 12, 2009 will be the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. At 1:30 p.m. on that day, community readings of the Gettysburg Address will be held at each of the libraries in McHenry County to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime event.

“Anyone can participate.

“Consult your local libraries for the locations to join in the reading in your area and for other commemorative events. Copies of the Gettysburg Address will be available at your local public library before the event so that individuals, businesses, and private groups can commemorate Lincoln’s legacy wherever they are.”

Here’s Lincoln’s speech:
“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.”The email continues:

“Please let us know if you’d like to participate from your home or place of business by emailing your name or your group’s name as well as how many people are participating to

“The libraries of McHenry County are sponsoring this countywide event in conjunction with the McHenry County Lincoln Birthday Celebration Planning Committee.”

And, if you want to join the McHenry County celebration being put together by county board member Tina Hill, here are more details from the

county website:Lincoln Birthday Celebration Gala

  • When

  • February 21, 2009

  • Where

  • Dole Mansion

  • 401 Country Club Road

  • Crystal Lake, Illinois

  • Please send contributions or purchase tickets to McHenry County Lincoln Birthday Committee, McHenry County Government Center c/o Tina Hill, 2200 North Seminary Avenue, Woodstock, Illinois 60098

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