Due to the fact that this month of September is the month that marks 9/11 - a day that will forever mark history - President Obama’s speech on the death of Osama bin Laden is more than fitting for this particular writing. Much like President Lincoln’s “The Gettysburg Address,” these two speeches are for similar purposes, and have detailed messages for the citizens of America. These speeches bring America together in unity and liberty under the devotion of God by boosting the general morale of the American citizens. Even though Obama’s speech is much later than the effects that led to the war in Iraq, it allows the public to feel safe knowing a terrorist has been laid to rest. While, Lincoln’s speech is pre-war and states that a nation should not give up equal rights and freedom which “our fathers” fought to establish. “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the preposition that all men are created equal.”
The year of 1863 was a powerful turning point for America’s future. Abraham Lincoln ended slavery and led the union army in the Civil War against the South’s secession. “The Gettysburg Address” speaks about how when our nation first sailed over here, we fought for everyone’s equality. Today, we are still fighting for that purpose. Much of the inequality we live in today comes from people who are judged for their beliefs, their race, or economical status. Maybe if we had another leader like Abraham Lincoln, we would all be treated equal.
Obama’s speech is twice as long as Lincoln’s speech, but has a similar message which states that we are a nation that stands together and helps our neighbors when they are in need. Metaphorically speaking, he is saying that America is stronger as a unit, and “the citizens will not take a punch sitting down.” Obama does not say this exactly, but does refer to Former-President Bush’s actions “I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.”
Much of the literary works that Obama applies in his speech help make it easier to follow. The way that he sets it up reminds people of the events that took place 9/11 and why we went to war in the first place. He then gives recognition to the soldiers fighting over the last 10 years and to the ones who died bravely serving their country; by doing this he gains the emotion and attention of the American public. At this point he explains how the operation was performed, “shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against Al Qaeda.” He also makes it clear that killing bin Laden could not have been done with out the alliance of Pakistan, who had pointed out where bin Laden was hiding. Obama concludes his speech with sorrow he has for all the families who have lost a loved one along the way and he states that although this war was for the right reasons, he does not agree with all of the hardships that come with it.
Because Obama’s speech was long and continuous, Lincoln's "The Gettysburg Address" was set up in a different manor all together. Just by looking at it, one would note ranges in size for each paragraph. As the speech progresses, each paragraph gets longer. Whether this was the intent or not it draws the reader in. Lincoln states that this land is where our fore fathers fought and now we are fighting on it again but for much too similar of reasons - to defend freedom, liberty, and equality. One of the most renowned parts of “The Gettysburg Address” is the very first line that reads “Four score and seven years ago.” A score is 20 years, so Lincoln is referring to 87 years before his time during the American Revolution. So why doesn’t he just say 87 years ago, instead of saying four score and seven years ago? This is probably what made his speech so spectacular because it drew in an audience to listen with tentative ears. Another thing to note is how he frequently uses the word dedicate, this is probably to give the emotion of pure devotion and commitment to defend this nation against any threat against freedom. He also uses the word consecrate which can also be defined as dedication which strengthens the speech that much more.
When Obama gave his speech upon bin Laden’s death, the nation rang out with joy. In his ending remarks he states “Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.” Much like these ending remarks, Lincoln uses a similar approach by mentioning God in the ending to his speech. “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.” The reason that both Presidents used the depiction of God was merely to sympathize with the rest of America because a lot of the nation was built upon Christianity. This also shows that the nation is all connected as one through the devotion of God. God stands more many as a sign of hope and faith; which America needs time and time again during times of war.
So as you can see, each of the dually noted speeches have detailed messages relating to the citizens of America through uniting words. They provide sense of urgency with a sense of meaning to uplift the audiences spirits when they have been kicked around through tragedy, despair, and warfare. These speeches are similar in that they give new hope to Americans and unite the nation under God and through liberty. While at the same time each speech appears to be different through the length and also the language that is used within each of the two speeches. This is mainly do to the fact there is well over a century between the two. But they forever more hold their value and recognition for everyone wanting freedom and liberty.