Students bring Lincoln’s words to life on Gettysburg Address 150th anniversary

ST. GEORGE – “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…” On Nov. 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln spoke on the idea that all human beings are equal, and today, students are bringing President Lincoln’s words to life in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

Fifth grade students from Arrowhead Elementary school in Santa Clara are participating in GettyReady, a Utah-based nonprofit education program designed to encourage people of all ages to “memorize, study and apply” President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and celebrate its 150th anniversary on Tuesday. This national effort encourages everyone in America to video record themselves reading or reciting Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech.

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Video courtesy of Jacquie Tuitavuki, fifth grade teacher, Arrowhead Elementary School

This major national public outreach campaign, GettyReady, was founded by John Adams, managing director of Ray Quinney & Nebeker law firm, Michael Dunn, chief marketing officer of Surefoot in Park City, and Derek Marquis, managing director of BYU Broadcasting, after being inspired by viewing a prescreening of filmmaker Ken Burns’ “The Address.” In this upcoming PBS documentary’s exploration of a school in Vermont, the film unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address and shows the powerful impact that memorizing, reciting and studying the Gettysburg Address has had on students at the Greenwood school for learning disabled boys.

Gov. Gary Herbert and Lt. Gov. Greg Bell launched the program in Utah on Sept. 17 at Red Hills Middle School in Richfield. “In 1863 Abraham Lincoln stood amidst Gettysburg’s honored dead and enlisted all Americans in the struggle to ensure a ‘new birth of freedom,’” Governor Herbert said. “It is incumbent on every Utahn to answer that call and enlist in the struggle to ensure (that) ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’”

“Governor Gary Herbert challenged the citizens/students to be ‘GettyReady,’” said Arrowhead Elementary School teacher Jacquie Leishman Tuitavuki. “All of our 5th grade teachers were involved in trying to get them ready. Not every 5th grade student accomplished the memorizing but many did.”

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library foundation invited Herbert to submit his own Gettysburg address in commemoration of the event, asking him to submit a 272 word essay. In a recent address to Washington County Republican Party’s November Freedom Forum, Herbert delivered his essay. Click here to see the video with St. George News report.

For more information about GettyReady or the Gettysburg Address, visit the GettyReady website to view learning resources about the Gettysburg Address, links to histories of the Gettysburg Address and Abraham Lincoln, and lists of discussion questions.

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