Happy Birthday President Abraham Lincoln
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."
-- March 4, 1865 - Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other."
-- June 16, 1858 - House Divided Speech in Springfield, Illinois
President Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the most popular president within American history. This is of no surprise. Although a man of humble beginnings, his legacy is one which is rich with core values of integrity, honesty, persistence, humility, compassion, and the pursuit of honorable goals. This led to his historic role in preserving the Union and ending slavery in 1863, by presidential order through the Emancipation Proclamation.
For the part he played in freeing the slaves, on his birthday in 1900, Republican James Weldon Johnson wrote "Lift Every Voice”, which has become the Black National Anthem. Also to commemorate the life and deeds of this great man, on his birthday, nine years later in 1909, the NAACP was founded by an interracial group of abolitionists and Republicans. The NAACP was created as a way to advance the work of President Lincoln, to further ensure the freedom of Blacks who had been freed from the fetters of American’s institution of slavery.
President Lincoln’s legacy is not one of dividing the nation along partisan, racial or any other lines. His ultimate goals were preservation of the union and to preserve the freedom of the people to have a government , governed by the people. We all can learn a lesson from Lincoln when it comes to issues of partisan politics and race. Perhaps when we do, we will be able to lay down the sword and come to the table to reason together, so that the “best” interest of the people can be served.
We also can learn from President Lincoln the lesson of freedom and justice for people of all races.
At Gettysburg he gave us a new resolve and a new birth, which we must rebirth within the hearts and souls of all Americans.
"That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
For this we thank him and say, …..Happy Birthday President Lincoln!