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.

November 19, 1863

The guy who spoke before Abraham Lincoln the day of the Gettysburg Address droned on for more than two hours, churning out a whopping 13,000 words.

Lincoln belted out the most famous political speech in history in just 272.

Ten sentences.

All men are created equal…

Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth…

Yet it’s not just government of the people that keeps us free, it’s media of the people too.

Lincoln’s short, direct, inspirational speech – missed by many reporters that day because it was so fast – is a reminder that we often times most impact the public debate when we lead with our hearts.

And keep it short.

Here at Voice, we really get inspired when we hear from local residents who want to add their own voice to local public policy debates.

We’re super proud that our local Opinion section is home grown and features local voices sounding off on local issues.

We established an Involvement Editor several years ago to facilitate people speaking up and have also offered numerous public training sessions on writing Op-eds.

Your voice matters and it makes a difference.

You can reach out to Theresa Sears anytime at: to submit an Oped and you can find our Writers’ Guide here.

Hundreds have taken up the challenge since we first launched our Oped section in 2015.

Now, your opinion doesn’t have to be long-winded or come jam packed with factoids.

It just has to come from the heart.

Your civic life depends on it.

We have to stay engaged.

Remember the most important thing Lincoln reminded us all about that November day back in 1863.

“These dead shall not have died in vain.”

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