Friday, May 3, 2013

Ken Burns: "The Address"

Ken Burns is working on a new documentary film about the Civil War.  It is called "The Address" and it chronicles the story of a group of Vermont schoolboys with learning disabilities who memorize and recite the Gettysburg Address.  Here is a taste of an article on the documentary in USA Today:

Greenwood School Headmaster Stewart Miller said that reciting the Gettysburg Address has been a core of the school's curriculum for all of its 35 years. This year, about 250 parents, fellow former students and others attended.

"When you memorize something, you really own it, it becomes a part of you," Miller said.

The Gettysburg Address "is not a long speech, but it has a lot of complexity," Miller said. "It is about finding the inner strength to push through. What we talk about is grit — setting a goal and sticking to it."

Burns said he thinks the 150th anniversary is an opportunity for all Americans to revisit Lincoln's message in the darkest days of the Civil War.

"We will challenge the rest of America to try to memorize the Gettysburg Address and we are hoping it will be among the greatest mass memorizations in history," he said.