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'The Address' Brings Meaning Of Gettysburg Alive At Vermont School

The ‘Gettysburg Address’ is one of the most important speeches in American history, delivered 150 years ago by President Abraham Lincoln. Now, a new documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns tells the story of students at the Greenwood School in Putney, whose study of the Gettysburg Address brings new understanding to the students' own personal struggles and aspirations.

On the next Vermont Edition, Ken Burns is our guest to discuss his film, The Address. It premieres in Brattleboro on April 2, and on PBS stations nationwide on April 15.

Lincoln wrote five versions of the Gettysburg Address, each with slight variations in wording. This is the version that Lincoln delivered at the dedication of the Soldier's National Cemetery, at the battle site in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:

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

Broadcast live on Fri., March 28, at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.