The Gettysburg Address is one of the most famous speeches in American history, but some students in Vermont may know it a bit better than the rest of us.
Students at the Greenwood School have been memorizing Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech since the school’s founding in 1978. The school is for boys in grades 6-12 who have learning disabilities.
Greenwood School Headmaster Stewart Miller said on “Fox and Friends” that the students learn the Gettysburg Address due to its themes of struggle, equality, hope and a new birth of freedom.
“For these boys, yes, they’ve struggled in school before they’ve found a place like Greenwood, they might not feel equal all the time in a classroom, they come to us with a lot of hope, and at Greenwood, we give them – in very real ways – a new birth of freedom,” he said.
Miller said the address is a long term goal for the students. He said it’s not an easy task for them to memorize it, but they never give up.
“It takes time and it takes perseverance and it takes resilience, and I think that is heroic in and of itself,” he said.
The school is the focus of a new documentary, “The Address,” which premieres on April 15 at 9p ET on PBS.
Watch Miller’s interview in the video above.
Need a refresher on that famous Civil War speech? Read it below.
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 battlefield 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.