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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1725
AUTHOR: Abraham Lincoln (1809–65)
QUOTATION: This extraordinary war in which we are engaged falls heavily upon all classes of people, but the most heavily upon the soldier. For it has been said, all that a man hath will he give for his life; and while all contribute of their substance the soldier puts his life at stake, and often yields it up in his country’s cause. The highest merit, then, is due to the soldier.
ATTRIBUTION: President ABRAHAM LINCOLN, remarks at closing of sanitary fair, Washington, D.C., March 18, 1864.—The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler, vol. 7, pp. 253–54 (1953).
SUBJECTS: Soldiers