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With the release Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, I’m on the verge of of one of the more "patriotic" July 4th’s since 1996 when I heard Seiji Ozawa conduct the Boston Symphony playing Copland's “Fanfare for the Common Man” (LISTEN here) at Tanglewood with James Earl Jones reading the Gettysburg Address (below). We had 8th row center seats and I was rapt. The weight of history and the vision and leadership and struggles of many great individuals moved in the air. It was the middle of a time of relative prosperity and peace.
Before that, high patriotism for me was as a kid painting the fire hydrant located in our front yard on the US bicentennial in 1976 with the Watergate scandal erupting, leading to Jimmy Carter’s election as President of the U.S.
Now the feeling is like we are ramping up to both a similar scandal(s) as well as the potential for great leadership to emerge...leading to a green revolution.
Honoring those who have fought for nature before us and who will after us. In this, our 230th year. I hope this is so, in the best sense of the word “hope” and with confidence in the American people to get it right this time. For the sake of our planet.
The Gettysburg Address
President Abraham Lincoln
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.
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