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The Gettysburg Address: The IT edition

Last week, during the Excellence.gov award ceremony in Washington, D.C., Clay Johnson, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, took the opportunity to give President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address an information technology feel.

“Thank A. Lincoln for helping me decide how best to express myself today.

Less than one score years ago, our president and Congress brought forth a new focus on information technology, dedicated to the proposition that all citizens desire and deserve to be served most effectively.

Now we are engaged in a great awards ceremony...honoring several agency teams. We have come to this awards ceremony to consecrate the accomplishments of these teams who have worked brilliantly to make their agencies more effective. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. 

But in a larger sense, we here in this room cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow their accomplishments. The employees themselves have consecrated their own work, far above our poor power to add or detract. The taxpayers, our customers, will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but they will be better served forever by the accomplishments recognized here. It is for us, rather, to be dedicated here to finishing the work, which the employees honored today have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the opportunities before us for greater government effectiveness...that from these honored employees we take increased devotion to the cause they have pursued with utmost devotion...that we here highly resolve that these honored employees shall not have toiled in vain to improve their agencies...that our government shall have an even more ardent focus on effectiveness...and that government of the people...by the people...and more effective for the people...shall not perish from the Earth.”


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