Full text of former Vice President Joe Biden’s speech titled “Battle for the Soul of the Nation” in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on October 6, 2020.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Joe Biden – Former Vice President
Thank you all for being here. Thank you.
I appreciate you being here on this gorgeous day in a magnificent, magnificent setting, until you think about all the lives that were lost here. Please, all have a seat.
On July 4th, 1863, American woke to the remains of perhaps the most consequential battle in American soil. It took place here on this ground in Gettysburg — three days of violence, three days of carnage, 50,000 casualties, wounded, captured, missing, or dead, over three days of fighting.
When the sun rose on that Independence Day, Lee would retreat. The war would go on for nearly two more years, but the back of the Confederacy had been broken. The Union would be saved. Slavery would be abolished, government of, by and for the people would not perish from the earth, and freedom would be born anew in our land.
There’s no more fitting place than here today in Gettysburg, to talk about the cost of division. About how much it has cost America in the past, about how much it is costing us now, and about why I believe in this moment, we must come together as a nation.
For President Lincoln, the Civil War was about the greatest of causes. The end of slavery, widening equality, pursuit of justice, the creation of opportunity, and the sanctity of freedom. His words would live ever after. We hear them in our heads. We know them in our hearts. We draw on them when we seek hope in hours of darkness: