The Address by Ken Burns

Totally off the subject of Guatemala or adoption: The Gettysburg Address. Mateo and I are obsessed with it. Over Spring break, we traveled to Gettysburg to visit the epic battlefield and stood on the site where Abraham Lincoln delivered his powerful speech about freedom and sacrifice.

Back home at our local library, we found a Ken Burns documentary about a boys’ school in Vermont that requires students to memorize Lincoln’s immortal words for an annual elocution contest at year’s end. The students, each with learning differences, work hard to master the moving and challenging text.

Mateo and I loved the Ken Burns’ movie, and recommend it to anyone with an interest in history, Lincoln, the Civil War, the Gettysburg Address, or none or all of those things. We also recommend The Address to anyone who parents a child with learning differences, or not, or for anyone interested in education. In short, we hope everyone watches this unique story and is inspired.

Here’s the description from PBS: THE ADDRESS, a 90-minute feature length documentary by Ken Burns, aired on PBS in the spring of 2014. The film tells the story of a tiny school in Putney Vermont, the Greenwood School, where each year the students are encouraged to practice, memorize, and recite the Gettysburg Address.  In its exploration of the Greenwood School, the film also unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address.

A link to the trailer: The Address, by Ken Burns


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2 Responses to “The Address by Ken Burns”

  1. kathy says:

    Thanks for that flashback, Jessica. Adult adoptee with many fond memories growing up in New England. So proud that day when my BFF in jr high won the local DAR contest reciting the Gettysburg Address.

  2. Jessica says:

    Thanks for reading, Kathy. Can understand your pride–the speech is glorious to hear and tough to memorize. (I’ve been trying…) I bet your BFF can still recite it, too! Thanks again.

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