Schlagwort-Archive: Friedhof

Volkstrauertag und Gettysburg Address

Heute ist Volkstrauertag. Seit 1952 ist der vorletzte Sonntag des Kirchenjahres dem Gedenken von Kriegstoten und Opfern von Gewaltherrschaft. Wichtig ist hier, dass es nicht um eine Verherrlichung vermeintlicher deutscher Heldentaten geht. Alle Opfer von Kriegen und Gewaltherrschaft stehen gemeinsam im Zentrum.

Genau heute jährt sich die Einweihung des Soldatenfriedhofs auf dem Schlachtfeld von Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. Dort hielt Präsident Abraham Lincoln eine Rede, die heute zu den berühmtesten von US-Präsidenten gehaltenen Reden zählt. Martin Luther King wählte bspw. als Einstieg in seine I-have-a-dream-Rede eine ganz ähnliche Satzkonstruktion. Hier die Rede in ganzer Länge:

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.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Der Begriff „score“ meint eine Einheit von zwanzig, also vor 87 Jahren (4 × 20 + 7 = 87). Die Bewertung von Lincolns Rede war durchaus unterschiedlich. Er selbst hielt sie für schwach. Sein mit zwei Stunden Redezeit ausführlicherer Vorredner Edward Everett schrieb in einem Brief an Lincoln:

I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.

Die Chicago Times kannte 1863 Präsident Trump noch nicht. Daher goss sie ihre Häme über Abraham Lincoln aus:

The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States