The war would go on. Thousands more would die, including Lincoln himself. And yet, despite these deaths, despite the pain and destruction of the war, the nation and its ideals would continue to live. It continues to live today, a testament to the sacrifices that were made so many years ago. And yet, there is still "the great task remaining before us," a task that has remained and will remain for each generation of Americans, to ensure that the democratic government that Lincoln spoke of 150 years ago today "shall not perish from the earth."