Yet again we are struggling to bear the unbearable. How can we find meaning in the massacre of so many innocent children, savagely cut down in a hail of bullets? Abraham Lincoln is much on our minds these days and, fortunately, there is much his life teaches us about giving meaning to human horror. Eleven months from now, we will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of his journey to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he consecrated a national cemetery in honor of the thousands slaughtered in the Civil War battle there. In the most eloquent address in American history, Lincoln told us, "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 (their) great unfinished work." In their honor, he concluded, "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."
Gergen, David. "Honor the Victims -- With Action." CNN.com, December 17, 2012.